Sachin Tendulkar is known for being one of the most polite and follower of cricket rules player. He never questioned any decision from the umpire, no matter how wrong the umpire was and he received quite a few howlers during his illustrious 24-year-career.
One of the most respected umpires in the world, Simon Taufel of Australia, recently recalled the tale of him adjudging the great Sachin Tendulkar out and the reaction he got from the little master, on an episode of 22 Yarns podcast hosted by Gaurav Kapoor.
The first incident was of England-India Test in Trent Bridge, 2007. Tendulkar was batting on 91 and shouldered arms to a nip-backer from Paul Collingwood, and Taufel raised his finger. Ball-tracking, however, suggested the ball would have gone on to miss the stumps.
"Well, I'm thinking, shouldered arms, so benefit of the doubt probably to the bowler, and I've given Sachin out after a bit of thought. Now, of course, Sachin's not happy with the decision. It's unusual for him to stand around, and he did stand there for a little bit of time, and then he went. I could see that he wasn't happy,” Taufel said.
Taufel then describes his meeting with Sachin and the conversation they had.
"The following morning I happened to pass by Sachin on my normal morning walk out to the middle […] and I come across Sachin and I said, 'look, yesterday I got it wrong, you know? I've looked at it, I got it wrong.' He said, 'look, Simon, I know.' He said, 'you're a good umpire, you don't often get many wrongs, it's okay, don't worry about it,” Taufel recalls.
Taufel adds, “And out of that sort of exchange, which wasn't an apology for the sake of making him feel better or me feel better, it was just an acknowledgment that we were both out there doing our best. This is a sport, and I wanted to acknowledge that I knew the fact that he was unhappy, and I was doing my best to make sure that that didn't happen again. That was really the underlying message.”
And that’s how Taufel says he forged a relationship with Tendulkar, based on "mutual respect for each other and our abilities".
"We have ongoing mutual respect for each other and our abilities because I've got Sachin wrong a number of times, not just on that one occasion. I've got the best in the world wrong. And I've learned from all those examples, but one thing that will always be with me, apart from those mistakes, is the respect and the trust and the integrity of our relationships as we go forward," Taufel says.
Taufel, who umpired in 74 Tests, 174 ODIs, and 34 T20I matches from 1999-2012, also recalled the wrong decisions he gave, in which Tendulkar was the beneficiary.
The incident is from the India-Sri Lanka New Delhi Test of 2005, in which Tendulkar broke Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test centuries and made his 35th ton in the five-day format.
As per the ESPNCricinfo match report- Tendulkar survived "two perilous LBW appeals" before getting to his hundred - one against Dilhara Fernando on 24, the other against Muttiah Muralitharan on 38.
"I was doing a Test match at Feroz Shah Kotla between India and Sri Lanka, and Sachin does get hit on the pads early on in the innings, and I've given it not out. He goes on to score a hundred, which I think was his record-breaking hundred at that period of time, but no one's talking about that,” Taufel said.
"They're all talking about Sachin being robbed on 91 [at Trent Bridge], they don't talk about the not-out where he goes on to score a hundred. Tom Moody, who was the [then] Sri Lankan coach, wasn't particularly happy with me, because of [that decision],” the winner of ICC's Umpire of the Year from 2004 to 2008, said.