I have been an ardent admirer of a number of past and present athletes and sportsmen each of whom have won accolades for his outstanding skill in and grasp on a particular sport. They include renowned personalities from India and abroad who have outshone themselves in games and sports like boxing, diving, swimming, weightlifting, archery, badminton, cricket, hockey, tennis etc.
Among the sportsmen who have impressed me a lot at one time or the other, the main names are of Mohammad Ali (Cassius Clay), Jaysuriya, Imran Khan, Nawab Pataudi, Sunl Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Prakash Padukone, Gopi Chand, P.T. Usha, Jaspal Rana, Capriati and Milkha Singh, also known as the Flying Singh.
But the brightest star in the galaxy of all these famous names is Sachin Tendulkar, a present-day craze amongst the cricket lovers all over the world. He is an astonishing wizard of this highly popular game and has already got his name recorded amongst the four leading names of top batsmen.
They are Sir Vivian Richards, Garfield Sobers, Graemen Pollock and, of course, Tendulkar. While on the field, he seems to be possessed by the All Powerful. Owing to his form, unusual game and great capacity to outmaneuver his opponents, his friends admire him in reverence; his rivals lose their guts and stamina at his sight; youngsters adore him and the elderly shower their blessings on him.
Leaving his past record-breaking performances aside, we can mention his latest surprises at Centurion in South Africa for assuring his team the entry into the Super Six in the World Cup. With 98 off 75 at a terrific speed, he put India through to the Super Six and Pakistan out of the World Cup.
The same day, he completed 12,000 runs in ODIs and became the first to make 1500 runs in the history of the World Cup. The Master Blaster tamed Akhtar in less than two over and left everyone speechless with his stunning assault.
The happiest crowning moment in Sachin’s career was witnessed in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Sunday, March 23, 2003. It was the closing day of World Cup Jamboree, where the Master Blaster was given the prestigious the man of the tournament award. He had scored 673 runs at an average of 61.18 in the tournament, a new record aggregate, with one century and six 50s.
Dr. Ali Bacher, Executive director of CWC 2003, had correctly remarked, “We wanted this to be the Best World Cup ever, and Sachin’s brilliant batting has helped the tournament captivate many millions of people around the cricketing world.”
Sachin is a rare gem for his innumerable fans all over the world. He is one of the youngest players, is exceptionally smart and agile, is quick in his response and has unusual physical talents. He has outstanding balance, is highly competitive, has rare speed and is gifted with exceptional temperament.
He has the desire to be the best and has unmatchable mental ability. He plays well against quality, pace and spins. His clashes with Shane Warne in Australia have provided some excellent theatre. His record in the past games is just superb which makes him a true champion in the world of cricket in the real sense.