- Sachin Tendulkar left the field after being dismissed during an one day international match between India and Sri Lanka, Feb. 28, Hobart, Australia. Click here to see related slideshow.
Tributes poured in for Sachin Tendulkar after the Indian cricketer said Sunday he was retiring from the 50-over, or one-day, format of the game.
Fellow cricketers, including his teammates, were among those expressing their admiration for the record-breaking batsman, widely regarded as one of the greatest cricketers of all-time.
All-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who was named player of the tournament in the 2011 World Cup, which India won, wrote on Twitter: “In my heart and fellow Indians! The pride of our country I salute to u for ur contribution to Indian cricket.”
Fellow teammate Virat Kohli, a 24-year-old who looks capable — at least partly — of filling the void that Tendulkar leaves behind, also paid respects to the man who inspired him to play for India. “emotional moment to not see the person who inspired me to play for india not play one dayers anymore. hats off paaji. we all love you. Respect,” he wrote on Twitter.
Tendulkar made his international debut back in 1989, when Kohli was a 1-year-old. Pakistani bowler Umar Gul said that young Indian players like Kohli were fortunate to have been in the same team as Tendulkar and to have had the opportunity to learn from him.
“I have been watching him since I was a kid and to be able to play against him was a pleasure. I think the best thing he has done for Indian cricket is to groom young batsmen like Virat (Kohli), (Suresh) Raina… I hope these guys have made the most of the opportunity of learning from him,” he was quoted as saying in an article on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s website.
Pakistan is playing a brief series in India – the first tour the team has done here since the 2008 Mumbai attacks – starting with a Twenty20 in Bangalore on Christmas Day. There will be another T20 on Dec. 28 in Ahmedabad, followed by three ODIs in Chennai, Kolkata and Delhi.
Also on the BCCI website, Pakistan skipper Mohammad Hafeez described Tendulkar as a legend and said he was loved in Pakistan. “He’s a legend. He entertained us all for so many years. I personally will really miss him. As a cricketer I feel really sad that he has retired because I really loved the way he dominated the whole world in ODI cricket for more than two decades,” Hafeez was quoted as saying.
“We all love him in Pakistan. His talent is exceptional,” he added.
Tendulkar, nicknamed “The Little Master,” scored more runs, hit more centuries and played more ODIs than anyone else.
Kevin Pietersen, part of the England team that just won a Test series in India for the first time since 1985, added on Twitter, “Statistics NEVER lie! They tell a very true story… Well done Sachin! What an incredible ODI career!”
Tendulkar didn’t just inspire fellow sportsmen, he also had an impact on the average person, as cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle noted: “sachin tendulkar’ was the greatest odi cricketer, but far more than the numbers he generated was the thrill he gave ordinary people.”
Indian newspapers carried long features Monday, describing Tendulkar with terms such as “Batting God” (Hindustan Times), “The Don,” (The Asian Age), and ‘King of Everything Cricket” (The Economic Times.)
But not everyone was filled with praise, with former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar questioning Tendulkar’s decision to step down from just one form of the game. “I am surprised by Sachin’s retirement from one-day internationals. When you play international cricket, you are expected to be available for both formats of the game,” he was quoted as saying in the Economic Times.
“I think he should have held back his retirement,” he added.
What do you think of Tendulkar’s decision to retire from ODIs? Share your views in the Comments section.