The cricketing fraternity on Wednesday (April 24) is celebrating the 46th birthday of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who bid adieu to the game after enjoying a legendary 24-year-long career at the top in 2013, but still remains its leading run-getter across Test and ODI formats.
After his debut in 1989, Tendulkar made a jaw-dropping 15,921 runs at an average of 53.8 across his 200 Test appearances for the country and struck 18,426 runs in ODI cricket, finishing with an average of 44.8 after 463 matches, before receiving the Bharat Ratna award - first to do so an active sportsman - just prior to officially retiring after a Test against West Indies on November 16, 2013 in his home city Mumbai.
Widely regarded as the greatest batsman of all time, Tendulkar also holds the record of piling on most number of centuries (51 in Tests and 49 in ODIs) at the highest level, apart from reaching the milestone of 10,000 ODI runs first and being the only batsman to score 100 international tons.
Tendulkar also played six World Cups - a record matched by only one other player, i.e. Pakistan's Javed Miandad - and dominated the proceedings in three of them. His 673 runs from 11 matches during the 2003 edition in South Africa earned him the "Player-of-the-Tournament" award. He is the leading run-getter in the history of the showpiece ODI event. Of course, the great man's biggest World Cup moment came in 2011 when he finally lifted that prestigious trophy at the Wankhede Stadium.
That day (April 2), a young Turk gave a fitting tribute to Tendulkar by saying; "he has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years; It was time we carried him on our shoulders". Since then, Virat Kohli has come a long way. He is now the world's best batsman and its biggest brand as well, but the once raw Delhi cricketer, who was inspired to play this sport only because of Tendulkar's exploits, seems to have not forgotten that at all, despite the often unfair widespread comparisons between the two.
Like every year, Kohli was quick to send his birthday wish to Tendulkar.
"Wish you a very Happy B'day Paaji, have a great year ahead. @sachin_rt ????", wrote the modern-day great over Twitter for his once fabled teammate.