He is the world’s richest cricketer with an estimated wealth in excess of a billion rupees (Rs 1000 cr). It is a tag he may lose soon enough to the likes of MS Dhoni. But then Sachin Tendulkar is also one of the world’s humblest cricketers. That is a tag he will carry for the rest of his life beyond the cricket field.
Walking down the steps to prac tice at the Wankhade Stadium on Tuesday, Tendulkar was already struggling to cope with the cricketer’s myriad paraphernalia his trademark super light pads, thigh guards, gloves, abdomen guard, two heavy bats and the ubiquitous helmet hanging by the chin strap from his left hand.
There was this young cricketer dressed in cream flannels who was sticking his notebook out through a break in the fencing from the adjacent stand for an autograph.
Most Team India players were either too preoccupied or too busy or, perhaps, even too rich to care as they are all members of the new generation rolling in wealth even from a young age. They walked down the steps past the cricket fan without a sideways glance.
Not Tendulkar. He stopped near the boy, balanced the two bats from the lower step, transferred the rest of his cricket gear to his right hand and grasping the fan’s ballpoint pen firmly with his writing (left) hand, Tendulkar placed his autograph most legibly on the page.
Not only that, he also tarried to speak a couple of encouraging words to the youth before picking up his bats to resume his journey on one of his last preparatory net sessions, on the eve of his 200th and final Test match.
The small gesture spoke volumes of one of the finest cricketers ever to grace the game.
-The Asian Age