'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?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor