On eve of his final and 200th Test match at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, Sachin Tendulkar writes about cricket, a changing India and playing for the country.
1993 to 2013: Two decades that were marked by some of the most challenging, exhilarating, poignant and memorable moments of my life. Playing cricket for India over the years has given me life time memories. I have been fortunate to be part of a generation that has lived through some of the most exciting years of Cricket. The game has seen so much change over the last two decades — from advances in technology, new formats yet the basic spirit and passion surrounding the game remains the same.
The last 20 years have witnessed more changes than any other era since Indian independence and we have all been fortunate enough to witness and participate in this journey.
When I started my career in 1989, India was a very different place — opportunities were fewer than today but so was the competition. There was much to learn and experience — a perfect platform to start a new journey.
Today, the world has advanced much beyond the linear thinking of the 90s. The spirit of the game remains strong even as the players have evolved and given way to a newer, more competitive generation.
Today, the field is populated with young exciting talent. From a hardcore Test loving nation, we have lovingly adopted the 20-20 format. We have given the world the Indian Premiere League, one of the biggest sporting leagues in the world. The game has evolved over the years and many young and talented players have got a chance to prove their mettle with these formats.
It is true in every industry and every sector – markets have evolved – lifestyles have changed and so there are a whole new range of products available in the market.
I distinctly remember being proud of buying a second hand international car in 1993 and today we are spoilt for choices with the best of brands available in the country.
This decade is all about re-inventing oneself. For players like us who have been around for over two decades, there is a need to look beyond our current pre-occupation and identify new challenges and take on new roles. I have been associated with Coca-Cola for several years and have seen Coca-Cola re-inventing itself and being relevant to people’s lives.
To be relevant is to be able to make the world a better place. We need to collectively do this. As our needs and wants have evolved over the last 20 years, so have the needs of the country. Initiatives like Coca-Cola’s Support My School are testament to the positive impact on community that can be achieved by pooling of thoughts and resources.
Sachin Tendulkar is the happiness ambassador of Coca-Cola India
Master versus Rest of the World
As Tendulkar gears up for his final Test, click here to read about a break-up of his performances against all opponents.
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...and goes the modern Don
Giving finishing touches of a different kind