The 29 Greatest Joys Of Growing Up With Sachin Tendulkar

Let your heart bleed a little bluer than usual. The legendary cricketer has announced his retirement.

1. When he came on to bat, the entire family gathered in front of the T.V. with bated breath.

2. He gave little boys all over India the courage to follow their dreams.

3. Because even before he was a professional cricketer, he had set a world record.

By hitting a 664 run partnership with Vinod Kambli in an inter-school cricket match in Mumbai.

4. At 18, he was the first non-English member of the Yorkshire Cricket Club. Indians everywhere brushed off their shoulders.

5. He gave atheists something to believe in.

 

Because if a 16-year-old can hit four sixes in one over against Abdul Qadir in his debut year, there must be a god.

6. And he gave India, a nation of hundreds of gods, one religion to unite around.

 

7. He made commercials as exciting as the game itself… By being in them.

8. There was nothing more thrilling than watching him step onto the pitch and pound out a century.

 

9. So it’s a good thing he did that so, so, so often.

 

11. His birthdays were always an occasion for the entire country to celebrate together.

 

12. He raised the bar for cricket in its entirety, by inspiring other cricketers to be better.

Clive Rose / Via Getty Images

13. And has, in general, been an inspiration for athletes across the sporting world.

 

14. In 2010, when he became the first cricketer EVER to score a double-century in an ODI, you literally gave him a standing ovation from your living room.

Ryan Pierse / Via Getty Images

15. And then when Sunil Gavaskar bowed down to him afterwards, you wanted to as well.

16. Whenever he went up against Shoaib Akhtar, you felt as though years of political conflict were being settled on the cricket pitch.

17. Whenever he got out, you felt a sense of abject doom, like the game itself had lost its meaning.

Bradley Kanaris / Via Getty Images

18. And when his batting style slowed down in the mid-2000s, you (along with the rest of India) panicked and thought he was depressed.

Ryan Pierse / Via Getty Images

19. But he made it acceptable to display emotion.

Jack Atley / Via Getty Images

Like when India lost to Pakistan by 12 runs in a 1999 Chennai test match, and he reportedly cried for 12 hours afterwards.

20. During the 1999 World Cup, when he hit a century against Kenya immediately after attending his father’s funeral, your hairs stood on end.

Jack Atley / Via Getty Images

21. He taught you to be proud of, and loyal to, your hometown.

After hitting a century in a 2008 match, he dedicated the victory to the victims of terrorism in Mumbai, his hometown.

22. And he taught you to always put your team first.

Chris Hyde / Via Getty Images

During his test debut against Pakistan, he was injured and bleeding, but continued to bat, ultimately winning the game for India.

23. You’ve read this paragraph multiple times but it still gives you goosebumps:

Scott Barbour / Via Getty Images

Originally published in Time Magazine.

24. The crowds of Wankhade stadium chanting his name is your favorite sound in the world.

25. And this familiar celebratory stance is your favorite sight in the world.

26. When the Indian team lifted him on their shoulders after winning the 2011 World Cup, you cried the happiest tears of your entire life.

Matthew Lewis / Via Getty Images

28. You’re sad that the sport is losing a legend, but glad he will finish at home, where he started.

Matthew Lewis / Via Getty Images

29. And, more than anything, you feel lucky to have gotten to witness the reign of the Little Master who changed the game forever.

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