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Years roll on, the legend of Sachin Tendulkar goes on

Saturday April 23, 2011 07:35:59 PM, Avishek Roy , IANS

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New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar will turn 38 Sunday -- and his international career 21 years, five months and nine days old. Yet, he continues to amaze with the enthusiasm of a new kid on the block.

Tendulkar realised his most cherished and long awaited dream on April 2 -- to be part of a World Cup winning team. Some didn't appreciate his young teammates wanting to win it for him, the thought was that they were putting undue pressure on him and on themselves.

It all ended on a high under the lights at the Wankhede Stadium when Tendulkar posed with the World Cup and was carried on their shoulders by the players on a victory lap.

He waited for this glorious moment for years and he knew it's well worth the wait and when it came it was sweet. "It's never too late," he said.

Nothing could have been more memorable for the cricket-obsessed nation that has seen him literally grow into a cricket icon. He in turn gave his countless admirers immense happiness. He became synonymous with Indian cricket for over two decades.

Any cricketer of his age would have faded away, but Tendulkar is made of a different stuff. His passion for the game not only keeps him going, but also gives him the opportunity to reinvent himself. Each time he goes out on to the field he seems to be raising the bar for himself.

The last year has been meteoric for Tendulkar. Who would have thought that after crossing the 1,000 Test runs five times in a calendar year, he will still be motivated to better himself. In 2010 he amassed 1,562 runs from 14 matches at an average of 78.10 with seven hundreds and emerged as the top run scorer in Tests, surpassing his previous best of 1,392 in 2002. He also reached the milestones of 50 Test centuries.

With Tendulkar at his best, India rose to become the world's top Test team.

Also last year, Tendulkar became the only cricketer to score a double hundred in ODIs and that too against South Africa at Gwalior. He took his tremendous form into the World Cup, becoming the leading Indian scorer with 482 runs, second only to top gun Tillakaratne Dilshan's 500.

He was hailed as the ICC Cricketer of the Year and Wisden followed suit honouring him as the Leading Cricketer in the World.

Not to be left behind, he is competing with the cubs in the Twenty20 Indian Premier League and, as captain of the Mumbai Indians team, showing the same grit and determination.

As he entered the new millennium, some started speculating about his retirement and someone came up with a screaming headline "Endulkar," suggesting the end of his career is around. The soothsayers didn't reckon with his tenacity and resilience. At a time when he is still going strong, he himself doesn't want to think about his retirement.






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