‘Sachin Tendulkar does not stay away from records and on Saturday, while he played the 200th Test in his illustrious career, the Prime Ministers’ Office announced that he has been awarded ‘BHARAT RATNA’. He became the first sports-person to receive this award, which is the highest civilian honour.
Dhoni handed him a cap which had “200th Test” stitched on it while the whole Indian team wore a shirt which had “Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar 200th Test” embossed on it.
Spectators at Wankhade Stadium gave a standing ovation when Sachin came out to bat on Friday and his team-mates gave him a guard of honour. He walked towards the pitch with his heavy bat which had a grip coloured in the Indian National Flag.
The Little Master scored 74 runs in this final Test match.
The clocks stopped ticking. It was 11.47 AM on 16th November 2013, Saturday, at the Wankhade Cricket Stadium, Mumbai. India had beaten the West Indies by an innings and 126 runs in the Second and the final Test match of this Series.
Mohammad Shami took the last West Indian wicket Sachin uprooted a stump and hugged Captain M.S.Dhoni. The spectators at the Wankhade Stadium Mumbai, stood on their feet gave a deafening roar and chanted ‘Sachin Sachin’ in unison. Time had come to bid adieu to the ‘God of Indian Cricket’ at the conclusion of this match.
One spectator in the stands was carrying a banner which read – ‘From now onwards only humans will play Cricket’.
His achievements were – that he was the first to score 10,000 runs in ODIs. He was the first to score a double hundred in an ODI match. He was also the first to score 1000 Test runs in one Calander year on six occasions. He is the first to play in 400 ODI matches. He is the first person to have played in 200 Test matches for his country. A remarkable feat and unsurpassable too as it seems today.
Sachin also has one Hundred centuries in International Cricket as he has scored 51 centuries in Test matches and 49 ODI hundreds in his illustrious carrier spanning 24 years.
He had made his Test debut against Pakistan on 15th November 1989 and after a span of 24 years, it was on 15 November 2013 that he walked back to the pavilion after scoring 74 runs.
Sachin is the greatest Ambassador of Indian Cricket and has captured the hearts of billions of people all over the World. As an individual he is a down-to-earth and a very humble person.
After the prize-distribution was over, Sachin, in his heart-warming speech thanked all those who had helped him in achieving this success in Cricket. He thanked his father who had given him freedom to play Cricket at the age of 11 years. He thanked his Coach Mr. Ramakant Achrekar, his friends, colleagues and fellow team-mates.
He started off by- “Friends, please settle down, I’ll get more emotional. It’s hard to believe my life between 22 yards in the last 24 years is coming to an end”.
It was a very emotional speech which brought the 33,000 spectators in the Stadium to their feet. No one had ever seen Sachin crying in last two and a half decades, but today it was different.
This is the first time the world came to know that Sachin is a good orator also.
During his speech he made a point to thank the media, the photographers and also the spectators who came to witness the matches. He made a point to thank everyone who had helped him in making a successful career.
With a bottle of water in his left hand he tried very hard to control his tears and thanked his wife Anjali [who is a Doctor by profession] and two kids Sara and Arjun and said that he had neglected them for the sake of Cricket over the last many years, and added that he would now cover all that up. He then walked down the pitch, bowed down, touched it and saluted it.
Anjali said that it is like a dream to see Sachin without Cricket though she could visualise Cricket without Sachin.
During the prize distribution he was given a tribute from the host broadcasters, tribute from the Sri Lankan government and a tribute from the Mumbai Police.
As soon as this match and the ceremony was over, the Prime Ministers Office announced that Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has been conferred the title of BHARAT RATNA, which is the highest civilian honour.
Later, Sachin said that he is dedicating this title to his mother Rajni, who is not keeping too well.
He has achieved the following Awards – Wisden Cricketers of the Year, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, Padma Vibhushan, Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, Maharashtra Bhushan Award, Wisden Leading Cricketer in the World, ICC World ODI XI, World Test XI, Wisden India Outstanding Achievement Award, LG People’s Choice Award, Outstanding Achievement in Sport, Arjuna Award for Cricket, BCCI Cricketer of the Year, Castrol Indian Cricketer of the Year, People’s Choice Award and now he has been awarded the ‘Bharat Ratna’.
And the signboard at Wankhede Stadium read: You will always be remembered!