8 instances which prove that Sachin Tendulkar is the epitome of sportsmanship
Innumerable smiles light up when an ordinary town in the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah, is mentioned.
The City of Dreams and the residence of the biggest Bollywood actors, Mumbai, ceases to be anything but the hometown of the India’s Ratna, for the cricket fanatics.
To a common man, 16th November stands as yet another day with winter slowly making its presence felt. A date which heralded the end of an era with the adieu of a legend, a Sachin Tendulkar fan will snap back.
Sachin Tendulkar. The name in itself rakes up a plethora of sentiments ranging from tears to smiles, pride to passion and nostalgia to emotions.
In a country where success is measured in numbers, 15,921 Test runs along with a mammoth 18, 426 One Day International runs, reveal their own story. A century of centuries complete the enviable record.
But, is it merely the stats and figures which force the stadiums across the nation to reverberate with cries of ‘Sachin Sachin’? Is a standing ovation accorded to the Master Blaster, every time he is sighted on the big screen, only due to the runs he has mounted? If it was just that, why is the Mumbaikar loved worldwide with such fervour, even by the oppositions? The real reason lies elsewhere.
In a career that spanned longer than the year’s most readers have lived, Tendulkar came to epitomise human virtues of gentlemanly behaviour, by portraying a temperament and a quiet sense of tranquility each time he took the field. His acts of sportsmanship, year in and year out, made him a role model who chose not to bring to the fore an aggressive streak. Sans a word laced with anger, he won the opposition over by a simple wooden bat.
On his 43rd birthday, we look at some on-field sportsmanship acts by Tendulkar, which have stayed on in minds, very much like the sight of the Indian milking away Shane Warne in Sharjah twelve years ago.
A reprieve accorded to Ian Bell on Tendulkar’s insistence; India vs England, 2011
Looking down the barrel and facing their second consecutive loss in the Test series in England in 2011, Sachin Tendulkar, in a commendable display of sporting attitude, urged his teammates to uphold Ian Bell’s controversial run-out on Day 3 at Trent Bridge.
Eoin Morgan, assumed the last ball before tea, bowled by Ishant Sharma, to be dead after it had raced away to deep square leg, where Praveen Kumar tumbled while fielding. He managed to save a certain boundary and threw the ball to Abhinav Mukund, who whipped off Bell’s stumps, running him out. It was here that a controversy erupted, with the batsmen already on the way to the pavilion, unaware that the ball had not reached the boundary and was still in play.
With MS Dhoni persisting that they had appealed, the third umpire had no choice but to rule Bell run out on 137, in a decision that saw the Indians being booed off the field.
However, a standing ovation greeted them when play resumed as Bell, surprisingly, came out to bat again. Andrew Strauss and coach Andy Flower visited the Indian dressing room during the break, requesting Dhoni withdraw the appeal, who remained adamant in his approach. It took in a word from Tendulkar to convince the captain in giving a reprieve to Bell, who had, honestly, been careless in his approach.
A controversy which could have marred the remainder of the tour was remembered for a great show of sportsmanship in the end.