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Sachin Tendulkar Retires With A Heavy Heart; Conferred With BharatRatna

His life has been all about the 22 yards ."I knew never ever in my life I would get to do that again. And that is where my life started and those 22 yards gave me everything. It's like a temple for me. I wanted to say thank you to cricket. I just thanked cricket for everything that I got in my life," were Sachin Tendulkar's words after he made a decision to quit the game after 24 years when he smashed records and made new ones. His glorious cricket career is history now, and other cricket players have too many records to chase! Will they ever be able to break Sachin's records? I doubt!

Cricketing world will always remember the era of Tendulkar that began on November 15, 1989 and came to a halt on November 16, 2013.

The day has finally arrived when Sachin bids adieu to international cricket. Sachin's farewell match, as expected, saw Sachin and crores of his fans in an emotional state. Dedicating his success to his coach Ramakant Archrekar, father Ramesh, brother Ajit, mother Rajni, and wife Anjali, Sachin became very emotional. The cricketing world saw Sachin exit from the ground wiping his tears.

After the match, PMO announced that Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar will be conferred with Bharat Ratna - the most prestigious award for an Indian. In his port-retirement press conference, Sachin said: "It hasn't struck me that I won't play cricket again. It has been a dream journey, no regret that I am leaving cricket. This was the right time to stop playing cricket. It was an enjoyable journey. I was still enjoying cricket. I have always said the day I felt I should stop playing, I would inform you. I got that feeling, because after 24 years, you have to appreciate I had many injuries, not easy to overcome. You reach a stage when your body gives you a message, enough of this physical load. The body requires rest. The body is not able to take more load consistently. It was becoming an effort to continue training. Earlier, it used to be automatic."

Dedicating Bharat Ratna to all mothers who make all kinds of sacrifices for their children, Sachin added: "I would like to share this award with all the mothers for all the sacrifices they make to raise their children."

About his retirement decision, Sachin said, "I had a question and when I looked for an answer, I felt it was the perfect time to leave the game." Sachin has indicated that cricket is oxygen for him and thus he would remain associated with the game."Cricket has been my life, it is oxygen to me. In 40 years, at least 30 years I have played proper cricket. 75 per cent of my life has been cricket, so there will be some association with the game, maybe not in the immediate future. Still, it is only 24 hours since my retirement, give me at least 24 days to relax. Then I will see what to do," added Sachin.

"When we won the World Cup two years ago. I had to wait 22 years for it that has to be a special moment. Yesterday, the way people responded, I don't know how to react to that, I want to say a big 'thank you' to everyone, so that was also special," Sachin said.

Sachin's retirement has left the country bereft of a legend who has dedicated 24 years to cricket. Sachin has lived cricket. According to his wife, cricket is oxygen for Tendulkar. The God of Cricket scored 74 runs in the first innings against West Indies in Mumbai and won his country the game.In the reception ceremony, an emotional Tendulkar said,

sachin's mother rajni tendulkar
"It's hard to believe that wonderful journey is coming to end. It's getting a little difficult to talk but I'll manage. The most important person in my life, and I've missed him a lot since he passed away in 1999, is my father, without his guidance I don't think I'd be standing in front of you."

Tendulkar played his first match against Pakistan in November 1989 as a 16-year-old curly haired boy. In his very first match, he entered the cricket scene as a teenager and was hit on the nose by a Younis thunderbolt. It was then that it seemed his career would come to an end. At that time, his batting partner Navjot Sidhu was worried about him and was rushing to his aid, but the 16-year-old boy with blood dripping from his nose, said "Mein Khelega [I will play]". So this announced his arrival to the cricketing scene, where he would write history and make every record in the game.

Tendulkar became a name to be reckoned with in the game of cricket. In fact, his name became synonymous with cricket. There is no batsman who can match up the talent and skills of Tendulkar. To me, as one of his biggest fans, cricket means Tendulkar and Tendulkar means cricket.

His words make me more emotional: "The first moment when I went on the wicket and stood between the 22 yards, I realized this was the last time I was in front of a packed stadium as part of the Indian team. That made me quite emotional, that I wouldn't have a bat in my hand, playing for India. While I walked back to the dressing room, I didn't look up when shaking hands with many of the West Indies team members, because I was in tears. It was an emotional moment, I remember when I was thinking about retirement I don't think I was very emotional because I knew it was the right decision even though my family was. I became emotional with the way players gave me a send off, when I was talking to the wicket. Normally I am not very emotional because I knew it was the right decision. The thought that I won't be able to represent India again made me emotional," says Sachin.


sachin anjali enter wedlock
Anjali and Tendulakr's love story is all about love at first sight. Anjali, who is older to Sachin by 5 years, was a pediatrics by profession, but she left her career to support her husband's career. When Anjali met Sachin, she knew nuts about the game and brushed up her knowledge of cricket to create an impression on Sachin when the two began dating each other. “I think what he liked about me was that I knew nothing about  cricket when I first met him. I didn’t even know who Sachin was,” says Anjali Tendulkar, who is the daughter of industrialist Ashok Mehta with her mother being an Anglo Indian.

Both got married on May 25, 1995 and were blessed with two kids- Sara Tendulkar and Arjun Tendulkar.  Soon she left her profession to start a married life. “I could not be married to Sachin and also have a full-time career. It wasn’t possible because he depends on me for almost everything. It was my decision. With Sachin not around and me with two kids at home, it wouldn’t have been possible. I took a decision and I have never, ever regretted it,” adds Anjali.

sachin anjali on their wedding day
In Anjali's words, "I can imagine cricket without Sachin but I cannot imagine Sachin without cricket...Sachin is never completely switched off from cricket. Even when we are on a vacation, at the back of his mind will be what he should eat and what not, with a series or a tour coming up." To Sachin, cricket comes first and then family, in Anjali's words.

Along with his millions of fans, I have been in an extremely emotional state. It's hard to believe cricket without Tendulkar.

Here's just a brief about Sachin's exploits at the game:
sachin's farewell test
Sachin finally ends his glorious cricket career with a total of 34,357 runs in international cricket and 15,921 runs in Tests. He is the only cricketer in the world to have scored 100 hundreds in international cricket.  I am sure Sachin's records can never be broken. There can't be another Sachin.

Honors for Sachin after his farewell match at Wankhede, with his fans chanting, Saacchhiin Sachin:

  • Tribute from the Sri Lanka government
  • Tribute from the host broadcasters
  • Tribute from Mumbai police
A star batsman, a dedicated fielder, and all-round player, Sachin Tendulkar in his final message at Wankhede dedicated his life and career to all those people who have stood firm behind him during all times. "Even though physically I am not playing for India, in my heart I will always play and pray for India. Whether I am part of the team, it really doesn't matter," he said.

On his father, Ramesh Tendulkar, who was a teacher and writer, Sachin Tendulkar said:

sachin during final match
"The most important person in my life and I have missed him a lot since 1999. Without his guidance, I wont have been standing here before you. He gave me freedom since 11. He told me to be a nice human being. Every time I have done something special, I have raised my bat for my father."

Thanking his mother for being support and sacrifices all these years, Sachin said:

"I don’t know how she dealt with such a naughty child like me. She must be patient. My mother took care of me. She started praying for me before I started playing cricket and she kept praying, praying and praying. A big thanks to her for all the sacrifices."

Ajit Tendulkar, his elder brother, has played a phenomenal role in Sachin's life and cricketing career. In fact, it was Ajit who introduced his youngest brother to the game of cricket. On Ajit, Tendulkar said, "I don't know what to talk about Ajit. We have lived this dream together. He sacrificed his career, he spotted the spark and took me to Achrekar sir and my life changed. He called me last night and we were discussing my dismissal. That's the rapport we have developed since my birth. We agreed on various things as for my techniques and many times I didn't agree with his view. Now I think I would have been a lesser cricketer had I not had him."

About his eldest brother Nitin Tendulakr, Sachin added, "Nitin and his family have always supported me. He said whatever you do, I know you will give a 100 per cent."

Sachin has an elder sister Savita Tendulkar, who lives in Pune. "My first cricket bat - a Kashmir willow - was presented by my sister. She is the one who continues to fast when I bat. So thank you Savita."

The most beautiful part of Sachin's life has been his wife Anjali, who has stood like a rock behind him, giving him the much-needed support during hardest of times. Thanking Anjali for being the most important part of his life, the Indian legendary cricketer said, 

west indies team giving guard of honor to sachin
"Most beautiful thing happened to me in 1990 when I met my wife Anjali. Those were the most wonderful years. Being a doctor, there was a wonderful career ahead of her. She told me when we wanted to have a family that I should concentrate on cricket and she will take care of everything. Thanks for being there. You are the best partnership I have had in my life."

Sachin's two children were born at a time when he was at the peak of his cricketing career, so hardly did he find time to spend with Sara and Arjun. He says his children are his stars, his most prized possessions. On his children, Sachin said, "I wanted to spend so much time with Sara and Arjun on their birthdays, annual days, sports days. I missed out on all of these. Thanks for understanding. For 14 and 16 years, I did not spend enough time. I promise you  I will make it up."

Sachin had some special words for his first coach Ramakant Archrekar. Paying a tribute to him, Sachin said, 

"My cricket career started when I was 11. The turning point of my career was when my brother (Ajit) took me to Achrekar sir. I was extremely delighted to see him up in the stands. Normally he sits in front of the television and he watches all the games that I play. When I was 11/12, those were the days when I used to hop back on his scooter and play a couple of practice matches a day. The first half the innings I would be batting at Shivaji Park, the second half, at some other match in Azad Maidan. He would take me all over Mumbai to make sure I got match practice. On a lighter note, in the last 29 years, sir has never ever said 'well played' to me because he thought I would get complacent and I would stop working hard. Maybe he can push his luck and wish me now, well done on my career, because there are no more matches, sir, in my life. I will be witnessing cricket, and cricket will always stay in my heart, but you have had an immense contribution in my life, so thank you very much."

Sachin spent most of his cricketing career with Saurav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble, and VVS Laxman. On his colleagues and other players in the Indian team, Sachin Tendulkar added:

indian cricket team honoring sachin tendulkar after his final test
"We see them on the giant screen – Sourav, VVS, Kumble who isn't here and my team members. I have had wonderful years with you. It is going to be hard not to be with you and share the dressing room. I know you will continue to serve the nation in the right spirit and right values. I believe we were the lucky ones to have been chosen by the almighty. I have full faith in you that you will serve the nation and bring all the laurels to the country. All the best."

He had a word for his doctors, physios, and everybody else who helped him stay fit. Thanking them, Sachin Ramesh tendulkar said, " Would like to thank all the doctors, physios to get this body together Without your special efforts, it won’t have been possible. I have called them at weird hours, they have taken flights at odd hours to help me stay fit."

Finally, on his fans, who have always backed him during his hardest times, Sachin added "I want to thank all the people here and from various parts of the world. You have meant a lot to me."

On his childhood friends, Sachin said,  "My childhood friends have had a terrific contribution. They left all their work aside when I asked them to bowl at the nets, join me on holidays, help me concentrate. Friends woke up at 3am when I was injured and reassured me that my career was not over. Life would have been incomplete without them."

sachin being honored by bcci
Ending his farewell speech, Sachin said, I know I have met so many guys who have fasted for me, prayed for me, done so much for me. Without that life wouldn't have been like this for me. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart, and also say that time has flown by rather quickly, but the memories you have left with me will always be with me forever and ever, especially "Sachin, Sachin" which will reverberate in my ears till I stop breathing. Thank you very much. If I have missed out on saying something, I hope you understand. Goodbye."

After Sachin's Retirement
I started watching cricket when Sachin had begun to carve out a niche for himself in the cricket world. It's difficult to imagine that I will ever watch cricket again now that I can't see Sachin with his willow. To me, he has been more than the best cricketer in the world. He has been my ideal, my inspiration, who has been instrumental in many transformations in my life. I cannot count all my blessings that I credit to Sachin here, but he has been my biggest inspiration all these years. I wish Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar all the best for his future!

Sachin Bharat Ratna
On February 4, 2014, Sachin received Bharat Ratna with full honors - becoming the first sportsperson and youngest recipient to be conferred with the prestigious award. After receiving the award in a glittering ceremony in the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sachin says he is honored to have been bestowed with the highest civilian award, dedicating the award to "all mothers of India." Sachin joins the list of 42 other eminent personalities that have received the award ( scientist CN Rao received the honor along with Sachin).



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