Six days after Sachin Tendulkar scored a double-century in the ODI at Gwalior, the master batsman was still unaware that he wasn't the first person to do so, merely the first man. Australian Belinda Clark achieved the feat in a Women’s World Cup match in 1997.
“I have not heard of it, but if she has done such a thing, that’s incredible,” he said. He was addressing the media as brand ambassador for the Joy of Giving Week, organised by non-profit organisation, GiveIndia.
Clark’s 229, which came in 181 minutes against Denmark at Sachin’s home turf, the MIG Cricket Club in Bandra, was hailed as a tremendous innings by umpire M. R. Singh, who had stood in that game, in a conversation with HT on Feb 26.
Talking about his milestone, Tendulkar said he was not nervous while playing the last six runs before hitting 200-mark.
Ever since Tendulkar’s latest record, politicians in Maharashtra have been keen on pushing for a Bharat Ratna for the little master. “The Bharat Ratna is a very rare achievement. The people who have won the award are not only my heroes but of the entire nation,” Tendulkar said. “It would be a great achievement to get that award and join the greats, but I am not thinking of it yet. I will just continue playing cricket and not bother about the award.”
While politicians are talking about the honour, cricket circles have been abuzz with debates on whether Tendulkar was the greatest batsman of all time. Inevitably, people have suggested he is better even that Sir Don Bradman. “It is unfair to make comparisons. I have never believed in comparisons because I respect every individual.” “That is how I look at life, not only in cricket but off the field as well. Every individual has his own identity and I am not only talking about Sir Don, but all the other players who have played for a long time at the international level.”
“They all have made huge sacrifices, and along with them their families have also made sacrifices. We need to respect that. We need to value rather than compare them with someone or the other. I feel we should appreciate what everyone has done and respect them because that is the way I would prefer to look at it.”
Master backs hockey
Caught up in the wave of excitement that the World Cup has generated, Tendulkar offered his unqualified support to the hockey team. “Your performance may fluctuate but our support for you is unwavering.”
“I am a fan of the team and my good wishes are always with them, whether they perform or fail to live up to expectations.In fact, as Indians our support should be stronger when the team goes through tough phases.”