Being a nation’s hero comes with huge responsibility. It’s more than just scoring runs and winning matches for your team; it’s about shaping minds too. And no one is more revered by the billions of Indians than Sachin Tendulkar.
His every act, every gesture is religiously noted and imitated.
He is the biggest role model in the country and by playing the game with a straight bat, is setting the right example. On Sunday during the game against the West Indies, we got to see another instance of the high standards he has set for himself.
By deciding to walk off despite being given not out by umpire Steve Davis he showed how the game should be played — hard but fair.
It was a brave call considering that he had to beat the temptation of letting go of a perfect opportunity to reach the landmark of century of centuries. But, as seen during his two decade long career, he has always been above these things. By putting integrity above personal ambition, he has set another example from which the future generations can take inspiration from.
Tendulkar was out caught behind in the very first over of the Indian innings. He could have taken a chance though as umpire Davis had not picked up the nick and the TV replays also remained inconclusive. In an instinctive reaction, Tendulkar walked off without waiting for the umpire’s verdict.
West Indies fast bowling legend Andy Roberts told HT from his Antigua home that he always felt more respect for opponents who played the game fair. “You always had respect for opponents who were honest. It’s very annoying when you know that the batman has touched it and he doesn’t walk,” said Roberts.
West Indies captain Darren Sammy too saluted the act. “It shows the measure of the man, the great gentleman he is,” said Sammy.
The incident has triggered the debate on walking with Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene saying they would leave it to the umpire.
Not walking is considered professionally fine now, but it’s not a new disease. Asked about whether walking was common during his days, Roberts quipped: “Some did, not all.”
Roberts reply implied that the numbers of the non-walkers has only increased, making it all the more important to have role models like Tendulkar.