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Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (Sachin Tendulkar), the name isn’t unknown for most of the Homo Sapiens born in the latter half of the 20th century on Planet Earth. Exceptions are few tennis players. Mesmerizing the world with his cricketing magic, he truly deserved to be called ‘The God’ of the game. He may be a yesteryear player, but his drives, cuts, pulls, and glances still linger in his fans’ minds. GenZ might know all but the name, but the GenX – who have not just lived the era and dreamt Cricket with ‘The God’ – can only understand the emotions that SRT carried in the billion hearts.
Countless times people would have said that ‘There cannot be another Sachin Tendulkar ever,’ obviously, we were and still are bewitched by the spell that the wizard cast on us. But is the statement as timeless as the Master Blaster himself?
Let’s try to break the percent of truth, analysis, or emotion, hard to tell. Sometimes we are so engrossed in someone that we don’t know if we carry a little thought.
Also, it may not be the first time that such statements have been made, I have heard oldies speaking the same about Little Master Sunil Gavaskar, or Sir Vivian Richards or Sir Donald Bradman, but still, we had Sachin Tendulkar, a weird combination of calmness and aggression and consistency.
Tendulkar might have faced the pace of Ambrose and Walsh, dreadful inswingers of Mcgrath, skilled reverse swings of Waqar and Wasim, but so has Sunil Gavaskar. Is there anyone brave enough to face the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Joel Garner, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding, Colin Croft, later joined by Malcolm Marshall? Who can retaliate against the brutality of Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thompson? Who could score all those runs without a helmet, thigh guard, rib guard? Not just score but get India to win in Caribbean Islands and set a record of chasing 400 in 4th innings in a Test Match. Who could have done those heroics built of 5.5 ft in those conditions when India was not more than a minnow?
Even today, we have Virat Kohli, who recently became the fastest to score 60 International hundreds surpassing Sachin Tendulkar. Then we have Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Tejaswi Jaiswal – the next breed of torch-bearer of Indian batting – already making their mark in world cricket. But still, the question remains unanswered, will there be another Tendulkar? There can be players with the same talent, with the same cricketing prowess, and the same passion for the game – even more. But does this qualify to call them ‘The Next Sachin Tendulkar’? There can be few with his level of dedication, perseverance, and focus. There can be few with his madness level to play International competitive Cricket for 24 years, but is it enough? Was Sachin Tendulkar called ‘The Next Gavaskar’? The answer is No, and he was, is, and will be Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar, a North Star in the history of Cricket.
So next question, why is that there can’t be a next Tendulkar. There are a few reasons that I could see, there can be few that you would know, and there will be few unexplored as well. A player or a personality is made out of the environment, is carved by the ecosystem in which he/she has come from. That environment becomes an integral developmental framework for that person. Even if the situation can be recreated, any human involvement adds a variation in the outcome, however minuscule it can be. This is the gist of my justification why there can’t be another Tendulkar. Since my engineering days, my answers have been in points here as well. Let me explain it in 4 points and detail:
First, Ajit Ramesh Tendulkar – Sachin Tendulkar’s Brother.
Will there be any person who transfers his love towards cricket love to his younger brother and does not stop at just handing him over to a coach but sacrifices his career, his ambitions to make a ‘player’ out of this youngster?
Second, Ramesh Tendulkar and Rajni Tendulkar – Sachin Tendulkar’s Parents.
The parents’ name is synonymous to sacrifice. Even our parents would have done, doing to date who knows, but how easy would it be for Ramesh and Rajni to raise four kids in Mumbai and spend over an expensive sport? In India, where sports always have taken a secondary place to study, how could Mr. and Mrs. Sachin Tendulkar think about changing Sachin’s school? How easy would it be for them to part with their youngest one at the age of 11-12 so he can dedicate his time to fulfill his dream?
Third Suresh Tendulkar and Mangala Tendulkar – Sachin Tendulkar’s uncle and aunt.
Will there be any uncle and aunt who would treat their nephew as their son, allow him to stay at their place so as not to study but so that he can commit himself to Cricket?
Fourth, Anjali Sachin Tendulkar – Sachin Tendulkar’s wife.
Though she has been ranked fourth here, the number does not do justice to her sacrifice. Will there be any better half who would remove the household’s burden from her husband so he can carry the load of the entire nation?
Coach, friends, well-wishers, The Almighty, fellow team members, even finding a combination of these won’t be that easy, will it?
We all know the Tendulkar half baked, completely exhausted, still carrying on in the net, not throwing his wicket to acquire a pat on the back and the Re. 1 coin placed on the stump behind him, which he still says is his proud and most precious collection. Still, this foundation was supported by these pillars which acted as a strong base, a wall between the world and Sachin, as a shield, so he could only focus on one thing, Cricket, should be revered very highly, shouldn’t we? I am sure Sachin himself would be placing them on the top, but I am talking from the ‘fans’ perspective.
Here, I might be speaking more about the peripheral system, but this shouldn’t give us any reason to blame our ecosystem if we are not what we desired. Remember, Achrekar Sir only took Sachin under him when he showed some promise.
So, is there a Sachin in your home or around you? Can we be someone’s Ramesh, Rajni, Ajit, Suresh, Mangala, Anjali? Can we take steps today to take pride later in being the foundation of a tower? Or importantly, can we be our own Ajit, Ramesh, Rajni, Anjali, Suresh to emerge ourselves as a Sachin. Food for thought.