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‘I don’t think anyone, apart from Don Bradman, is in the same class as Sachin Tendulkar.’ -Shane Warne
This is cricket icon, Sachin Tendulkar’s life story in his own words – his journey from a small boy with dreams to becoming a cricket god. His amazing story has now been turned into a major film, A Billion Dreams, in which he stars.
The greatest run-scorer in the history of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar retired in 2013 after an astonishing 24 years at the top. The most celebrated Indian cricketer of all time, he received the Bharat Ratna Award – India’s highest civilian honour – on the day of his retirement. Now Sachin Tendulkar tells his own remarkable story – from his first Test cap at the age of 16 to his 100th international century and the emotional final farewell that brought his country to a standstill.
When a boisterous Mumbai youngster’s excess energies were channelled into cricket, the result was record-breaking schoolboy batting exploits that launched the career of a cricketing phenomenon. Before long Sachin Tendulkar was the cornerstone of India’s batting line-up, his every move watched by a cricket-mad nation’s devoted followers. Never has a cricketer been burdened with so many expectations; never has a cricketer performed at such a high level for so long and with such style – scoring more runs and making more centuries than any other player, in both Tests and one-day games. And perhaps only one cricketer could have brought together a shocked nation by defiantly scoring a Test century shortly after terrorist attacks rocked Mumbai. His many achievements with India include winning the World Cup and topping the world Test rankings. Yet he has also known his fair share of frustration and failure – from injuries and early World Cup exits to stinging criticism from the press, especially during his unhappy tenure as captain. Despite his celebrity status, Sachin Tendulkar has always remained a very private man, devoted to his family and his country. Now, for the first time, he provides a fascinating insight into his personal life and gives a frank and revealing account of a sporting life like no other.
Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, (born 24 April 1973) is an Indian former international cricketer who captained the Indian national team. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is the all-time highest run-scorer in both ODI and Test cricket with more than 18,000 runs and 15,000 runs, respectively. He also holds the record for receiving the most man-of-the-match awards in international cricket. Tendulkar was a Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha by nomination from 2012 to 2018.
Tendulkar took up cricket at the age of eleven, made his Test match debut on 15 November 1989 against Pakistan in Karachi at the age of sixteen, and went on to represent Mumbai domestically and India internationally for over 24 years. In 2002, halfway through his career, Wisden ranked him the second-greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second-greatest ODI batsman of all time, behind Viv Richards. The same year, Tendulkar was a part of the team that was one of the joint-winners of the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy. Later in his career, Tendulkar was part of the Indian team that won the 2011 Cricket World Cup, his first win in six World Cup appearances for India. He had previously been named “Player of the Tournament” at the 2003 World Cup.
Tendulkar has received several awards from the government of India: the Arjuna Award (1994), the Khel Ratna Award (1997), the Padma Shri (1998), and the Padma Vibhushan (2008). After Tendulkar played his last match in November 2013, the Prime Minister’s Office announced the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. He was the first sportsperson to receive the reward and, as of 2023, is the youngest recipient. In 2010, Time included Tendulkar in its annual list of the most influential people in the world. Tendulkar was awarded the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the 2010 International Cricket Council (ICC) Awards.
Having retired from ODI cricket in 2012, he retired from all forms of cricket in November 2013 after playing his 200th Test match. Tendulkar played 664 international cricket matches in total, scoring 34,357 runs. In 2013, Tendulkar was included in an all-time Test World XI to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack, and he was the only specialist batsman of the post–World War II era, along with Viv Richards, to get featured in the team. In 2019, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame. On 24 April 2023, the Sydney Cricket Ground unveiled a set of gates named after Tendulkar and Brian Lara on the occasion of Tendulkar’s 50th birthday and the 30th anniversary of Lara’s inning of 277 at the ground.
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