The success of a professional sportsperson is assessed on his performance, but there is an inevitable connection between success and bank balance.
With Sachin Tendulkar, no matter the size and quantum of his contracts, what he cherishes most is holding his bat aloft while acknowledging the cheers of his teammates and fans after scoring a hundred.
Having known him for long, I can state with confidence that the pleasure he gets from making runs is matchless, and that not even all the riches in the world can take his focus away from cricket.
The two aspects of Sachin I have watched with awe are how he has conducts himself in public, and how he has handled his finances. There are lessons to be learnt for youngsters. You may not be able to learn how he bats, but you can take invaluable tips from the two aspects of his life that make him a special person.
The way Sachin has handled fame and adulation has amazed a lot of people. The way he goes about dealing with people is praiseworthy. He derives this sustenance and equanimity from the strong middle-class values, from the way he has been brought up.
The influence of his parents and elder brother, Ajit, can be seen at every stage of Sachin’s life. His inherent respect for people and humility have always held him in good stead.
Sachin’s view on money is something people, and especially young kids who have the opportunity to make money through cricket, should look at. Money has a different meaning for all of us at different stages of our lives, but the way Sachin has taken the material side of things in his stride is brilliant.
Money will come and go, but Sachin has a lifestyle aligned to what he is most passionate about. If there ever has been a money vs passion for the game scenario, he has never allowed money to come in the way of his cricket. No matter what material riches may have come along, what enthralled him most were the runs he scored.
To handle adulation, money and play in the manner in which he did are things that can be emulated. In the end, your habits decide where your priorities lie, and Sachin’s habits have been so good that they have remained aligned with cricket.
The writer is a former India pacer