What you may not know about Sachin Tendulkar

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
Sachin Tendulkar's hero worship has no limits, but many are unaware of the legend's several facts and figures.

Here's all you wanted to know about Tendulkar.

- His father named him after the legendary music director Sachin Dev Burman.

- During his school days, he grew his hair and tied a band around it to copy his idol, tennis legend John McEnroe.

- When Sachin was 14, Sunil Gavaskar gave him a pair of his own ultra-light pads. However, they were stolen when Sachin was at an Under-15 national camp in Indore.

- Dilip Vengsarkar gifted Sachin a Gunn & Moore bat after he was picked for the Bombay Under-15 team.

- Raj Singh Dungarpur was instrumental in amending the rules of the iconic Cricket Club of India to allow the fourteen-year old Sachin to use its dressing room despite his age.

- Sachin wanted to be a fast bowler but was rejected by Australian great Dennis Lillee at the MRFPaceAcademy at Chennai in 1987.

- In August 1987, Sachin was ignored for Bombay Cricket Association's Best Junior Cricketer of the Year award. Sunil Gavaskar then wrote an encouraging letter to the 14-year-old with the postscript: 'Don't be disappointed at not getting the Best Junior cricketer award from BCA.

- If you look at the best award winners, you will find one name missing and that person has not done badly in Test cricket!'

- He was a ball boy during the 1987 World Cup semi-final between India and England at Wankhede.

- He fielded for Pakistan as a substitute during a One-day practice match against India at Mumbai's Brabourne Stadium in 1988.

- Sachin was returning from India's tour of England in 1990 when he met his wife, Anjali, for the first time at the Mumbai airport. He was 17 then!

- Sachin's father-in-law, Anand Mehta, is a seven-time national bridge champion.

- Sachin's first man of the match in a Test was at Manchester in 1990 and he got Magnum champagne bottle as the prize. He preserved it for eight years and finally uncorked it on his daughter Sara's first birthday.

- Tendulkar refused to do a Pepsi ad because it required him to smash cricket balls with a fly swatter. He told ad-film maker Prahlad Kakkar that this will project him as bigger than the game of cricket. The ad was modified and stumps replaced the fly swatter.

- During the 2007 Lord's Test, Daniel Radcliffe, one of the most popular British actors, queued up for an autograph of Sachin at the end of the game.

- Launched in 2009 by a company founded by former investment banker Karl Fowler, a book on Sachin Tendulkar -- Tendulkar Opus -- has 852 pages edged in gold leaf, with each page measuring 50cm x 50cm, and weighs 37 kg.

- In 2010, Sachin was conferred the honorary rank of the Indian Air Force, which made him the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by the IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour.

- Tendulkar scored ducks in his first two ODIs; he ended his ODI career with 114 and 52 in his last two innings.

- In the team bus, Tendulkar always takes the left window seat of the front row.

- In the dressing room, he chooses his spot first; Sachin always occupies a corner. Once he has exercised his choice, others rush to take their places.

- Sachin follows Roger Federer and Formula 1, and understands music and medicine.

- He is fond of seafood and can hold a conversation on the merits of different wines.

- The team has a system of monetary fines for players coming late (to the bus or a meeting or a function) and for flouting the dress code.

- But Tendulkar has never had to pay up in 23 years.

- Sachin had to wait for 79 matches for his first ODI century, on September 9, 1994. By that time he had scored seven Test hundreds.

- He was without a bat contract during the 1996 World Cup in which he emerged the highest run-getter.

- After his Perth hundred in 1992, the famous London Times correspondent John Woodcock, in his'70s, was moved enough to say: "Gentlemen, he is the best batsman I have seen in my life. And unlike most of you, I have seen Bradman."

- In 1992, at the age of 19 he became the first overseas player to represent Yorkshire county team.

- On November 14, 1992, playing against South Africa at Kingsmead in Durban, Tendulkar became the first batsman to have been declared run out by a third umpire.

- When then BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur was asked why was Tendulkar not seen at the presentation after Pakistan won the Chennai Test of 1999 despite a brilliant hundred from Tendulkar, a distraught Raj Singh said: "He is crying in the dressing room."

- He sang and whistled with Vinod Kambli during their 664-run record stand in the Harris Shield tournament in 1988 to avoid eye contact with the coach's assistant who wanted to declare while the duo wanted to bat on.

- Two wards in Delhi's Tihar Jail were named after Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli, after the duo shared a 664-run unbroken partnership in a school tournament.

- Gursharan Singh played with one hand (despite a broken finger) to help Sachin get a superb century in the Irani Cup game of 1989-90.

- Tendulkar holds the unique distinction of scoring a century on debut in Ranji Trophy, Irani Trophy and Duleep Trophy- Sachin scored a duck on his One-day International debut against Pakistan at Gujranwala on December 18, 1989.