There could not have been a more fitting farewell or a more special award for Sachin Tendulkar than being conferred with the Bharat Ratna. Bharat Ratna Sachin Tendulkar has a nice ring to it. My heartiest congratulations to Sachin on being honoured with the nation’s greatest civilian award, I think it is a fantastic move from the Indian government.
His speech at the end of the Test was brilliant, so typical of the man who has maintained balance and humility right through his career. I am sure millions watching on television would have cried with Sachin. To then watch him walk back on to the pitch and pay obeisance to the 22 yards at the Wankhede Stadium was another touching and poignant moment.
It’s hard to believe that Sachin will no longer play cricket. For 24 years, he has carried Indian cricket on his shoulders with dignity and grace. We can all feel the huge sense of loss, but we can only wonder how he himself must be feeling, how he will wake up in the morning in the knowledge that he is now a former cricketer. Sachin should be a happy, contented and fulfilled man. He has done something that no one else can even dream of emulating. I think Sachin should remain involved in cricket, get in to the sport in a different capacity and make a difference, but then again, that’s his call.
I know a lot of people are disappointed that Sachin didn’t make a century in his final Test, but in my book, that 74 was one of his best knocks ever. There was so much pressure on him to finish off nicely, so many expectations given that this was his last match.
While the Indian government has accorded him the highest honour, the best gift the Indian team could have given him was the 2011 World Cup. And the fact that in Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, there are two young batsmen for the future who, I am confident, are destined for great things. In many ways, Sachin is leaving Indian cricket with a wonderful team for the future. The fact that so many players, most of them so young, played such key roles in India’s wins in his farewell series, will gladden Sachin a great deal. Sachin will walk away buoyed by the knowledge that in Virat and Rohit, he has left the Indian batting in good hands, and that the future is bright and promising.
Hawkeye/Chivach SportsThe writer is a former India pacer