Happy Birthday Sachin Tendulkar! 24 Interesting Facts About ‘God Of Cricket’

Sachin Tendulkar, the masterful cricketer, has given not just one nation, but the world so much joy and happiness during his splendid and eventful career spanning over 24 years.

Since it’s April 24 today and his 50th birthday, let us walk down memory lane shedding light on 24 interesting trivia about the legend.

1. He was named by his father Professor Ramesh Tendulkar after the legendary composer Sachin Dev Burman. His middle name is Ramesh. As his full name is Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, many call him SRT. He is also called Master Blaster and Little Master as well. Many call him God of Cricket as well, but he does not like being called so. The 1st cricketer to call him God was Matthew Hayden, whose exact words were, “I have seen God, he bats at number four for India“. Then media and die-hard fans picked it up and made it famous.

2. Sachin’s interest in cricket really took off after India won the 1983 World Cup. He was also a ball-boy at Wankhede Stadium in the 1987 world cup. He played the 1992 world cup and thereafter featured in all world cups till 2011, which India won under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

3. As a schoolboy cricketer, Sachin used to practice with his close friend Atul Ranade. Those days, bowling machines were not available. Atul had the gift of bowling with various actions and this helped Sachin a lot as he could simulate batting against different bowlers.

4. To motivate him, coach Ramakant Achrekar would give him a coin if he stayed at the net through the entire session. Sachin won 13 such coins. He treasures them to date.

5. Sachin was a huge John McEnroe fan and for some time grew his hair like the tennis legend and also wore a bandana like him.

6. Sachin as a schoolboy had a record 664 run partnership with Vinod Kambli. Coincidentally, Sachin went on to play 664 International matches (200 Tests, 463 ODI, and 1 T20)

7. Sachin was in the U-15 India camp and Vasoo Paranjape was the coach. Vasoo’s son Jatin was his roommate. Late one night, a security guard complained to Vasoo that a short boy was batting and his son was bowling to him. Vasoo said, “Why are you wasting your time, go and help them by fielding.”

8. Sunny Gavaskar had written to a 13-year-old Sachin, asking him not to be disappointed at missing out on the Bombay Cricket Association’s best junior cricketer award. With his inimitable sense of humor, he said that “If you check the list of former winners, you will find one name missing and that batsman has not done too badly in test cricket“. He was, of course, referring to himself.

9. Dilip Vengsarkar asked Kapil Dev to bowl to a 14-year-old Sachin and Kapil was a bit concerned initially but soon found out that he was batting comfortably. This net session helped Sachin get into the Mumbai Ranji side and he hit a ton on the Ranji debut. Later he scored tons in his 1st match in both Duleep Trophy and Irani Trophy.

10. In his 1st Ranji Match, skipper Lalchand Rajput was run out for 99. However, he told the young boy, “Don’t worry about my missing a hundred. You get one.

11. Sachin had applied to MRF academy as an aspiring fast bowler, but Dennis Lillee asked him to concentrate on batting. A year later, he saw him batting and hitting all bowlers with ease. Lillee asked TA Sekhar who the boy was, and the latter replied, “the boy you rejected last year as a fast bowler”.

12. Sachin is one of India’s first sportspersons to make it big with regard to endorsements. His first brand endorsement was for Boost, which he did with Kapil Dev.

13. After Sachin was selected for the Indian team to tour Pakistan, Sunny Gavaskar came to the Wankhede Stadium where Sachin was playing for the Rest of India versus Delhi, and presented him with his light-weight pads. He along with stalwarts Milind Rege and Eknath Solkar had seen his debut Ranji hundred. Sunny also told him that good technique is required to wear lightweight pads as the carry to fielders/keeper is more.

14. Sachin is known to be a foodie and often experiments with new restaurants and cuisine, usually with his friends Ajit Agarkar and Zaheer Khan. He had his own restaurant too for some time which was named Tendulkars.

15. Yorkshire is considered to be a conservative county, and it is a tribute to Sachin’s cricketing potential and prowess that he, in 1992, became the first-ever overseas-born professional of Yorkshire. In fact, he was the first cricketer not to be born in Yorkshire, to play for Yorkshire.

16. A turning point of Sachin’s career was the India-New Zealand ODI at Auckland in 1994. Opening the batting for the 1st time, he scored 82 in 49 balls. He went on to open the batting for almost his entire career in ODI.

17. In 1994, Sachin went to see the movie, Roja, in a cinema hall with Anjali and a couple of friends. To avoid getting mobbed, he wore a beard and sunglasses. However, his sunglasses fell off and one of the lenses came off. Then he got recognized and had to leave the hall halfway through the movie.

18. In the famous chase against Pakistan in the 2003 world cup, before going out to bat, he polished off a big bowl of ice cream. In modern cricket, that would be unthinkable.

19. Throughout his career, he has discussed each and every dismissal of his with his brother Ajit and what he should have done otherwise so that he would not have got out.

20. When cricketers started using numbers on jerseys, Sachin used 99. Later he used the Number 10, as his name is (Ten)dulkar. After Sachin retired, only one other player Shardul Thakur has briefly used it just once -for numerological reasons, He was unfortunately trolled on social media, and since then the jersey number 10 has been unofficially retired by BCCI. Sachin’s former IPL Franchisee Mumbai Indians has however officially retired Jersey Number 10. A football parallel would be Napoli retiring Jersey Number 10 to honour Maradona.

21. Sachin’s work ethic was exemplary. His planning was extraordinary. To face the tall West Indian bowlers Walsh and Ambrose, he prepared by asking his Mumbai teammates to stand up on a stool and bowl to him. To prepare for Warne, he got a rough prepared outside the leg stump and asked Laxman Sivaramakrishnan to bowl to him there. His preparation included taking care of minute details. For instance, he was very particular about getting himself hydrated and used to keep an alarm on at 3 am, get up, have a glass of water, and also had the ability to just go back to sleep immediately.

22. Sachin, the bowler, was also very gifted and could bowl off-spin, leg-spin and medium pace. Inzamam-ul-Haq was dismissed by him 7 times while the great Shane Warne dismissed Inzy 5 times. Inzy is on record that Sachin troubled him more than Warne.

23. Which batsmen does Sachin consider as good as him or even better? He has listed Lara, Ponting, Kallis, Sehwag and Dravid. Which bowler troubled him the most? While Lee has dismissed him for the maximum times in International cricket (14), followed by Murali and Mcgrath (13 each), the bowler who troubled him the most, as per Sachin himself was Hansie Cronje.

24. Sachin’s best compliment would be probably the one he received from Don Bradman who told his wife Jessie that he plays like he used to do so, and his wife agreed. For his 90th birthday, Don Bradman specially invited Shane Warne and Sachin.

Happy Birthday, dear Sachin!

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