As the legend, Sachin Tendulkar, retires from ODIs, cricket-obsessed Bollywood admits that he will be missed sorely.
He played his first One Day International as a 16-year-old against Pakistan in 1989. Twenty-three years, 463 matches and 49 hundreds (and one double hundred) later, the icon, Sachin Tendulkar, announced yesterday that he will not play another ODI.
As the news spread, the entire nation reacted, including cricket-crazy Bollywood. “He bridged generations,” says actor Ayushmann Khurrana. Not surprisingly, even in the film industry, his fans range from the old guard to the youngsters.
“It’s really sad news. Cricket will not be the same without him. I know people were talking about his retirement constantly, but personally, I don’t feel it was the time to go. I wish we could have seen him play for many more years to come.”
Bipasha Basu, actor and brand ambassador, Celebrity Cricket League
“He is one of the greatest batsmen in the world. There is young blood coming in, so they should get a fair chance to show their skills as well. Probably, now, we can hope to have another Sachin. It’s a good thing that he is not going away completely.”
Chitrangda Singh, actor
“I think when they said the world would come to an end, this is what they meant. I only wish he could have stayed back for the India-Pakistan series. It would have been a treat. Nonetheless, Sachin has left behind a legacy. It’s the end of an era.”
Huma Qureshi, actor
“Sachin Tendulkar is no longer just the name of a person. His achievements have made him a figure of reverence. I have always found the debate on ‘whether he should retire’ ungrateful. Let’s not try telling him what he should do post retirement.”
Richa Chadda, actor
“The legend has a lot of self-respect. He’s hanging his boots up holding his head high. His service to his country and to the game of cricket is unparalleled. He’s my dad’s superstar, my hero and my nephew’s idol. He bridged generations. When Sachin made his debut, I was five, most of his followers on Twitter were not even born. It’s a miracle that till now, he had the excitement of a five-year-old on the field.”
Ayushmaan Khurrana, actor
“Sachin has served our country like few others have. Yet, however beautiful the flower, the law of nature is that it has to fall to make way for a new bud. Sachin is a genius who will rightly decide for himself when it’s time for him to retire from the other forms of the game. Sachin cannot be Sachin without honesty and discipline, and an honest man will do what is right. We need not tell him.”
Vikram Bhatt, filmmaker
“Sachin has been the anthem of every stadium since his debut. As much as I’d have liked to see him play forever, if he chooses to retire from one day cricket, let’s respect his decision.”
Madhur Bhandarkar, filmmaker
“The God of cricket has retired. Sachin has given a certain class and respect to the game and has given the nation a lot. He has made every Indian proud. He deserves a standing ovation from the entire nation.”
Neil Nitin Mukesh, actor
“It’s the right decision, but a hard one. Sachin is the God of cricket, but even he had to retire. I think he should continue playing test cricket. I don't think he should be involved with the national side immediately...he should create records outside the cricketing world.”
Varun Dhawan, actor
“I don’t know why the press went after him. He is a gentleman, so he chose not to react. He is a legend who has made India proud. He is now a Member of Parliament, and I hope he looks after the welfare of not only cricket but other sports as well.”
Jackie Shroff, actor