The one about Sachin Tendulkar

Today, Sachin Tendulkar played his last official cricket match for India. He is hanging up his boots after 24 years. His match stats are unbelievable; 24 years, 100 centuries, 33 thousand international runs. I do not think anyone as of today is going to be anywhere near these numbers.
Sachin has always been a special cricketer. A little man carried the hope of a billion people, the little master. Ever since he started to play cricket for India, he has been touted as the next big thing, the ultimate sportsman. His batsmanship was artistic. The pristine straight drives, the exquisite cover drives, gorgeous drives an either side of the wicket will be in memory forever. The crowds expected him to perform miracles each time he went out to play. Constantly under the spotlight of fans, critics for 24 years, I cannot imagine the pressure the man should have been under. Yet he focused on thing he loved to do and found joy in playing cricket.
Sachin taught India to play a brand of fearless cricket, reminded India that she could win, reminded the world that India will not roll over and accept defeat, they would fight. The desert storm onslaught, the 2003 world cup semifinal against Pakistan, the 175 against Australia in Hyderabad all showed the will to fight, to win and never back down. Sport glorifies heroes who had their backs against the walls, the guys who went against the odds. While sport glorified him we worshiped him.
As I was watched his emotional farewell speech, I realized what Sachin meant to me, to thousands of youngsters and to India. To a whole generation Sachin defined Hope. When Sachin was batting we all knew that there was a chance that India could win. To a billion others he was what they wanted their kids to be. Mothers and sisters prayed for him, fasted for him. Fathers took pride in his success, and brothers wanted to be like him. He was part of every Indian family and that is the reason he felt home everywhere in India.
He did not achieve greatness by building up those numbers, he did it by just being a boy who lived his dream. In his speech  he talked about not taking any shortcuts to chase his dream. True, take a look at the way he hared back for a three. A 40 year old running flat out on the ground is an example of his mental and physical strength.
It does make it hard to believe that Sachin will not play again for India, but I do wish that the new generation cricketers have learnt the most important lessons from the little master.
Stay true to yourself, your family and your dreams!
Farewell.

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