Sachin Tendulkar: 24 unforgettable moments from the maestro’s farewell Test
Sachin Tendulkar walks off the field after his 200th and final Test match. A 24-year long glorious career came to an end on November 16, 2013.

 

Exactly a year ago on November 16, 2013, Sachin Tendulkar bid an emotional farewell to the game at the Wankhede Stadium. Playing his 200th and final Test, Tendulkar hit 74 to sign off on a high. His family was in attendance as were numerous celebrities from different walks of life.

Nishad Pai Vaidya picks 24 defining moments from the emotional farewell.

 

Sachin Tendulkar receives the trophy from then BCCI president N Srinivasan.
Sachin Tendulkar receives the trophy from then BCCI president N Srinivasan.

1.   BCCI felicitation

In the midst of empty stands before start of play on Day One, Tendulkar was felicitated by the BCCI. He was given a trophy for completing 200 Test matches.

Kapil Sibal, former Telecom and Human Resource minister presents the commemorative stamp launched by the Government of India in honour of the Little Master © IANS
Kapil Sibal, former Telecom and Human Resource minister presents the commemorative stamp launched by the Government of India in honour of the Little Master.

2.  Commemorative stamp

To mark the special occasion, the Government of India had launched a commemorative stamp in honour of Tendulkar. The presentation was made to him ahead of the start of play.

West Indies skipper Darren Sammy presents a t-shirt with signatures of his team members to the maestro before the start of play.
West Indies skipper Darren Sammy presents a t-shirt with signatures of his team members to the maestro before the start of play.

3. West Indies gesture

West Indies captain Darren Sammy presented Tendulkar a shirt signatures and wishes from his team-members. It was quite a touching gesture from the opposition.

Sachin Tendulkar leads the team in to the field in his final Test.
Sachin Tendulkar leads the team in to the field in his final Test.

4. MS Dhoni’s thoughtfulness

MS Dhoni, who won the toss and elected to bowl, asked Tendulkar to lead the team onto the field. Tendulkar writes in Playing It My Way, “As we stepped onto the field, the team also presented me with a special commemorative cap, and I spoke to them briefly during the team huddle.”

5. Indians fans ‘celebrate’ fall of India’s second wicket!

Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Murali Vijay had put up a good opening stand late on Day One. However, with the score on 77, both were in the hut. Murali Vijay had scored a strokeful 43 of 55 balls, but when he became the second Indian wicket to fall wickets, his dismissal was received a thunderous response. The reason: it was time for Tendulkar to take strike, the man they had all come to watch — one last time.

The West Indian team gave a guard of honour as the Little Master walked out to bat for one final time.
The West Indian team gave a guard of honour as the Little Master walked out to bat for one final time.

6.    Guard of honour

Darren Sammy and his men lined up and formed a guard of honour to welcome Tendulkar to the middle for what could have been his last Test innings. Cheteshwar Pujara, the unbeaten batsman, also stood alongside the West Indians. Even the umpires joined in!

7. Getting off the mark

As Tendulkar took guard, a nation was nervous. The mind went back to England’s honour for the Don in his last innings and the duck that followed. After a few deliveries, Tendulkar worked one to the deep on the leg-side to get going. Relief!

8. The first boundary

Shane Shillingford had troubled the Indian batsmen through the series. Tendulkar played out a few and then got his first boundary by cutting one to the deep. And a few moments later, he leant forward and played that classical drive through wide long-off.

9. Straight drive off Darren Sammy

Tendulkar had played himself in and essayed some delightful strokes. However, late on Day One, the shot that stood out was a punch through mid-on for four. It was pitched up and Tendulkar unleashed that trademark punched with rifled off his bat to the fence. It was vintage Tendulkar.

Sachin's mother Rajni Tendulkar watched her son play for the first time from the stadium in his final Test.
Sachin’s mother Rajni Tendulkar watched her son play for the first time from the stadium in his final Test.

10. Mother on screen

During the last over of Day One, the big screen flashed Rajni Tendulkar [Tendulkar’s mother] on the big screen at the Wankhede Stadium. A loud cheer greeted that moment, many giving her a standing ovation for nurturing India’s biggest sporting superstar.

Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat on Day Two to resume his innings in the final Test. Tendulkar was unbeaten on 38 at stumps on Day one.
Sachin Tendulkar walks out to bat on Day Two to resume his innings in the final Test. Tendulkar was unbeaten on 38 at stumps on Day one.

11. Positive start on Day Two

Tendulkar came out to bat on Day Two on a positive note to. Thirty eight not out overnight, he hit Shane Shillingford behind point and then swept for four as he moved closer to his half-century.

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his 68th and final Test match fifty.
Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his 68th and final Test match fifty.

12. The half-century

Tendulkar punched one down the ground off the fast-bowler for four to bring up his half-century. He then raised his bat at the box where his family was seated. Anjali, his wife, signaled to him, asking him to stay. There was a look of determination in Tendulkar’s eyes.

13. The duel with Tino Best

The mercurial West Indian fast bowler produced a hostile spell and attacked Tendulkar with short ball. Tendulkar termed it an “inspired spell” in his book. After a few play and miss, Tendulkar played a great cover drive to settle scores. Best had a smile and Tendulkar also shared a laugh with him. It was all in good humour!

 

The stadium went silent. Even the West Indian team were muted in their celebrations as Tendulkar walks back scoring 72 in his final innings.
The stadium went silent. Even the West Indian team were muted in their celebrations as Tendulkar walks back scoring 72 in his final innings.

14. When the heart stopped

On 74, Tendulkar shaped to cut a ball from Narsingh Deonarine. The ball took a thick edge and flew to Sammy at first-slip, who pulled off a blinder. For a moment, the crowd was unaware. Sammy did not move or celebrate. It was only when Tendulkar started walking that everyone realised he was out! Disbelief gripped the ground.

Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged the spectators as he walks off after being dismissed for 74.
Sachin Tendulkar acknowledged the spectators as he walks off after being dismissed for 74.

15. The walk back to the hut

Tendulkar was given a rousing reception as he made his way back. He looked back at the Wankhede Stadium and waved his bat at the appreciative crowd. Though there was a chance of a second innings, West Indies hadn’t exactly shown the fight to last the distance.

 

Son, Arjun was scheduled to play a game for his school.Fortunately for him, his team was awarded a walk-over and he managed to be a part of the momentous occasion.
Son, Arjun was scheduled to play a game for his school.Fortunately for him, his team was awarded a walk-over and he managed to be a part of the momentous occasion.

16. Arjun Tendulkar applauds

Tendulkar’s son, Arjun, was a ball-boy that day and was seated close to the steps leading to the dressing room. As his father walked back, Arjun was seen applauding his effort. He wasn’t supposed to be there as his school team was scheduled to play a game. Fortunately for him, his team was awarded a walk-over which allowed him to be a part of an unforgettable moment.

 

Sachin Tendulkar was given a chance to bowl as West Indies crumbled on Day Three.
Sachin Tendulkar was given a chance to bowl as West Indies crumbled on Day Three.

17. One last bowl

As West Indies hurtled towards defeat on Day Three, Tendulkar was handed the ball. Tendulkar bowled his usual cocktail — a mix of the leg-breaks and the googlies.

18. Tendulkar asked not be part of the team huddle

At the fall of the ninth wicket, skipper MS Dhoni asked Tendulkar to stay away from the huddle as the team wanted to discuss something to complete his farewell. Tendulkar cut a lone figure as his team met far away from him. “I could not stop myself from getting emotional,” he wrote.

 

The Little Master gets a moving guard of honour.
The Little Master gets a moving guard of honour.

19. The moving guard of honour
As India wrapped up the game, the team came together and formed a guard of honour to escort Tendulkar off the field. He looked back, waved to the crowd and started making his way to the dressing room. As he walked off, the team continued to run sideways to sustain the guard of honour till the boundary ropes.

 

Sachin held his face in his hand and sobbed as his career came to a close.
Sachin held his face in his hand and sobbed as his career came to a close.

20. The tears flow – finally

Tendulkar has been an epitome of strength on the field of play, but emotions got the better of him as he made his way back to the pavilion. He held his face in his hand and sobbed as his career came to a close. There was hardly a dry eye among the spectators and millions watching him on television around the world.

A farewell speech filled with gratitude and acknowledgement to the people who supported him in the 24-year long career.
A farewell speech filled with gratitude and acknowledgement to the people who supported him in the 24-year long career.

21. A speech that melted hearts

It was simple, yet beautiful. He spoke from his heart and touched everyone’s emotions with that rendition. The ‘Thank You List’ was scribbled on the flight from Kolkata [where he had gone to play his penultimate Test] to Mumbai. The speech was all about gratitude and acknowledgement.

 

Wife Anjali was moved to tears as Sachin gave his farewell speech.
Wife Anjali was moved to tears as Sachin gave his farewell speech.

22. Family joins in

Tendulkar’s wife Anjali, children Sara and Arjun were near the presentation party and then joined him the victory lap. Anjali was moved to tears when Tendulkar said that his marriage was “the best partnership of his life.”

 

Sachin Tendulkar is carried around the ground by his teammates.
Sachin Tendulkar is carried around the ground by his teammates.

23. The victory lap

This was a throwback from the World Cup final. Tendulkar was lifted on shoulders by his teammates and escorted around the Wankhede Stadium. He had the Indian flag in his hand and he waved it to the crowd to bid goodbye.

Moment that stood out in his final Test. Sachin pays his respects to the 22 yards that made him a legend.
Moment that stood out in his final Test. Sachin pays his respects to the 22 yards that made him a legend.

24. Thanking the 22 yards

Tendulkar’s life “in 24 years between 22 yards” had reached its conclusion. As the victory lap got over, Tendulkar ran to the square, bowed to the wicket, touched it to pay his respects. This was his last act on the field of play. A touch of gratitude! And nothing was more touching than this one act of gratitude by the maestro.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_45)