The God of Cricket: Think You Know Sachin? Think Again!

The God of Cricket

Although the God of Cricket has left the pitch for good, we still cannot get enough of him. Even the word “Legend” is a small word to use for him, and his name is more like a chant for us Indians. Ranging from World Cup matches to test matches, Sachin Tendulkar has delivered his best and rightly assumed the title of Master Blaster. Born on 24th April 1973, Sachin Tendulkar has been a household name making sure that there are many stories, newspaper and magazine articles about his journey. And yet there are some lesser-known facts about him which we chose to explore in the article! 

25 Unknown Facts About The God of Cricket

The God of Cricket Once Played For Pakistan

In 1987, a young Tendulkar was sent for Imran Khan’s team, as a substitute fielder. 

It was for an exhibition match, going to occur between India and Pakistan. 

In his book “Playing It My Way”, Tendulkar wrote, “I don’t know whether Imran Khan remembers this or has any idea that I once fielded for his Pakistan team.” 

Sachin was sent by the CCI Captain, Hemant Kenkre, when Imran Khan complained about being short of three-four players.

He Started Playing As A Punishment 

On a Sunday evening, a young Sachin fell from a tree, during his summer vacation. 

His elder brother Ajit, infuriated after seeing this, packed him off to cricket coaching as a punishment. And that eventually led him towards the road of God of Cricket.

The God of Cricket Was Too Young To Celebrate His First Century

Tendulkar, in 1990, scored his first Test century as Manchester, and was given a Magnum Champagne bottle as a gift of victory.  However, as he was underage, he wasn’t allowed to open it. 

British rules are quite strict, and they do not allow players or citizens under the age of 18 to drink. 

Therefore, Sachin waited for 8 years, and finally popped the invaluable champagne bottle in 1998, on his daughter’s first birthday.

The God of Cricket Is A Superstitious Person

Sachin Tendulkar once revealed that after getting out, he refrained from watching the 2011 World Cup Final, due to superstitions. 

Like numerous sportsmen who share this trait,Virender Sehwag also accompanied Tendulkar, and none of them watched the entire match, including the incredible winning six of MS Dhoni.

How He Named His Daughter 

In 1997, one of the most memorable innings from Sachin’s bat came during the Sahara Cup where he demolished the wrathful Australian bowling attack twice in 2 days – once to guide India to the finals and the second time to help India clinch the Cup.  

His daughter was born the same year, and she was named ‘Sara’, after the ‘Sahara’ Cup.

He Is Ambidextrous

Ambidextrous are those individuals who can use both their right as well as left hand perfectly well, with ease. Since Tendulkar uses his left hand for writing, it’s kind of funny that he uses his right hand for bowling and batting. 

Friendship with Sunil Gavaskar 

When Tendulkar did not receive the title of ‘Best Junior Cricketer’ in the Mumbai Cricket Association, Sunil Gavaskar gifted him a pair of ultra-light pads, in order to console him. In 1989, Tendulkar wore these pads in Karachi, during his debut against Pakistan.

He Was Rejected From Dennis Lillee’s MRF Pace Foundation

As an aspiring fast bowler (yes, you read that right!) a 14-year old Sachin Tendulkar had to face rejection (in terms of bowling) from Dennis Lillee’s MRF Pace Foundation in 1987.  

The head coach and Australian great Dennis Lillee didn’t fully reject him and asked him to concentrate on his batting instead. 

Ball Boy

During the 1987 world cup, Sachin was a ball boy for the match between India and Zimbabwe at the Wankhede Stadium. 

Most interestingly, 24 years later, he lifted the World Cup for India at the very same venue.

He Slept With His Gear By His Bed

Sachin Tendulkar was so passionate about the game that he used to sleep with his cricket gear during his junior days.

His First Ad Ever

The first advertisement in which Sachin was featured was for plaster or Band-Aid! 

The cricketer has since featured in a lot of commercials of brands like Boost, Gillette, Action Shoes, Pepsi, Visa, Philips, MRF Tyres, Adidas, and lots more! But do you remember the first-ever television commercial that he starred in? It was for the Johnson & Johnson product Band-Aid.

Used To Be A Big Bully In School 

Sachin Tendulkar, who is considered a calm character, was a big bully in the school.

Looking at his young sweet face, you’d think of him as the last person who would get into a fight. 

The man has literally grown up as the poster boy for Indian cricket and continues to be loved by millions, even called the ‘God of Cricket’. Set on a pedestal, nobody could touch him. However, the former Indian cricketer wasn’t always this way, far from it in fact. 

According to Atul Ranade, a former First-Class player and a very dear friend of his, Sachin used to be a big bully in his childhood! 

In an interview with Ashish Magotra for a Rediff feature, Ranade spoke about how Sachin was an actual bully who “once bullied a guy who was much older than him and really hammered the fellow”. 

Later that day, when the school ended, the beat-up student was waiting at the main gate with all his friends, ready to teach the young boy a thing or two about bullying. But Sachin knew a way around the school. “He somehow managed to escape; even I don’t know where he went,” Ranade said.

Even as a six-year-old, Sachin would keep fighting with his friends during recess. In fact, Sachin was so aggressive and looked forward to fights that his elder brother Ajit Tendulkar had to get him enrolled at coach Ramakant Achrekar’s cricket academy to put his energy to good use.

Ranade believes Sachin Tendulkar never changed one bit through all those years and simply loved to dominate. “Always the bully; always on top,” he said. “Sachin loves the challenge, but more than the challenge he loves to win.”

 Had To Wear Disguises

Sachin Tendulkar went to watch the movie Roja in 1995 with a beard and disguise to watch the movie in peace. Ofcourse, this was a time when Home Theatres and DVDs didn’t exist. 

It all went wrong when his glasses fell off and the crowd in the cinema hall recognized him.

The Only Indian Cricketer To Get These Awards

Sachin Tendulkar has been granted the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award and Padma Shri by the Indian government. He is the only Indian cricketer to get them all! 

 A Young Sachin Would Fish

A young energetic Sachin Tendulkar used to go fishing for tadpoles and guppy fishes in the stream that ran through the compound of Sahitya Sahawas at Bandra East. Interestingly, the God Of Cricket once made his mother look for a frog Bhaji recipe!

An Inspiration Outside Of Cricket

The God Of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar is himself a role model for many admirers from other sports such as tennis stars Pete Sampras and Boris Becker, and Argentina footballer Diego Maradona.

Music Taste

In terms of music preference, Sachin loves Kishore Kumar and the rock group Dire Straits.

Prankster To Sourav Ganguly

A prankster that he is, Sachin once attached a hosepipe into Sourav Ganguly’s room and turned the tap on. The friends that they are, Sachin calls Sourav Ganguly `Babu Moshai` while Ganguly calls him `Chhota Babu`. 

Most interestingly, Ganguly revealed a secret during the launch of Sachin’s autobiography:

Sachin used to walk in his sleep at the MRF Pace Academy. Sourav Ganguly was his roommate then.

Imagine Him Without A Contract? It Happened!

The God Of Cricket was without a bat contract until the start of the 1996 Cricket World Cup. At the end of the tournament, a famous tyre manufacturer sponsored his willow.

Man of the Tournament in 2003….Without Facing A Single Ball In The Nets

Sachin reportedly told Dravid, “I’m feeling good. I don’t want to go into the nets and waste the touch. I want to feel good about my batting. If I have that sort of feeling, I will score runs when I go in”.

He went on to score 673 runs in the tournament bagging the Man of the Tournament award.

When the future generations ask us to tell them about Sachin, we all will proudly say when Sachin gets out, we will switch off the TV. Even after years of appearance on the field, The God of Cricket is and will be cherished, adored and missed always.

The First Batsman To Be Given Out By The Third Umpire

Numerous records to his name, the God Of Cricket also was the first batsman to be declared out by the third umpire in 1992.

“When it comes to technology, I am always on for it even though I was the first to be given out via technology in South Africa in 1992,” Sachin once said.

Afridi Scored The Fastest Century With The Little Master’s Bat

In his very first one day innings, a 16-year-old Afridi went on to hit a 37-ball century, the quickest One Day International century. Afridi just into the team did not have a kit. He was given Sachin’s bat to play.

“I had just got into the Pakistan team and during nets in Nairobi ‘Wicky Bhai’ gave me a bat and said, play with this and see. It is Sachin’s bat,” Afridi told Gulf News.

Reality TV

As per Livemint, in 2008 Sachin Tendulkar also appeared in ‘An Aussie Goes Bolly’, an Australian reality television series that used to be aired on FOX8 channel.

Gifted a Ferrari By Michael Schumacher

Fiat, the Italian owner of Ferrari, gifted a Ferrari 360 to the God Of Cricket , it’s brand ambassador when he equaled the record of 29 Test centuries by Don Bradman. The car was handed to Sachin by none other than Michael Schumacher – the seven-time world Formula One racing champion. 

This is a parallel universe compared to his Maruti 800 which was the first car the cricketer bought with his hard-earned money.

Always Humble

In his autobiography, ‘Playing it my way’ he had said, “If you remain humble, people will give you love and respect even after you have finished with the game. As a parent, I would be happier hearing people say, “Sachin is a good human being” than “Sachin is a great cricketer” any day.”

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