'Every heart in India is crying today': India mourns the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar

The batsman will call time on his international career next month when he reaches 200 Tests

Delhi

There were no black arm bands, no funereal music.

But when Sachin Tendulkar today announced his plan to finally retire from all forms of cricket, there wasn’t a lot of other news on Indian television. For several hours there was no space, apparently, even for an update about a powerful cyclone that was threatening the south of the country

“He had all the shots in the book,” reminisced former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, speaking on the NDTV channel. He said he had always been struck by Tendulkar’s commitment and temperament. He said he hoped Indian cricket would find a future role for him. “He is a great human being,” he said.

On Headlines Today, anchors were taking calls from viewers who wanted to share their memories of the 40-year-old’s remarkable career, which will come to an end next month after two final Test matches that will take him past 200 matches. What had been his greatest innings, what had been his greatest contribution to the sport, what was his greatest shot?

One man, Siddardh, from the city of Jaipur, sounded besides himself with misery. “There will never be another player like him,” he declared. “Every heart in India is crying today. Cricket is over.”

On social media, cricket fan and government minister Shashi Tharoor declared that Tendulkar had been the “greatest Indian to wield a bat”. “He has given us all so much,” he added of the man with a Test record of 51 centuries and nearly 16,000 runs.

On the CNN-IBN news channel an anchor who normally spends his time quizzing politicians such as Mr Tharoor was instead talking to cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle. A moment earlier he had spoken to retired umpire Dickie Bird, who had claimed Tendulkar was the closest thing there had been to a second Donald Bradman.

Mr Bhogle, who comes from the Indian city of Hyderabad, was gleefully recalling the number of matches in which he’d seen Tendulkar play, the different pitches, the different types of surface. He’d seen him across India and around the world.

Mr Bhogle was reluctant to name a “greatest” Tendulkar innings. There had been so many. The anchor kept pressing him. Perhaps it was Sydney, said Mr Bhogle. Or Sharjah. Or Edgbaston, in 1996.

While Indian television news channels do have separate, specific slots for sports news, stories about cricket invariably make it into the general news programme. Very often it is the main story. When Tendulkar bought a new apartment in Mumbai, the cameras were outside the house for days.

“We should try not to call him Saint Sachin,” declared Mr Bhogle. “He bleeds like everyone else. But he plays cricket like nobody else.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones