Some people call him a national treasure, some call him their idol and a few even call him God, but to me he will always be known as the greatest batsman in my lifetime of cricket.
The date was 15 November 1989, this day was a very special day for Indian cricket. A young boy from Bombay made his way to the crease in the toughest of circumstances. To start your career against the arch enemy in their own back yard must be one of the toughest starts a cricketer could ask for.
Back on this day no one could have predicted what was to come over the next twenty four years. He has countless records to his name, but the one that sticks out in my mind is him being the first player to score a double century in a ODI. What is great about Tendulkar is that he seems to take joy in every shot and every century.
On many occasions it could be said that Sachin carried India, he has seen it all in Indian cricket. Throughout the early to mid 90's he had very little support from a fledgling Indian side which struggled. Tendulkar kept this team afloat with his class. Playing with the likes of Kapil Dev, Ganguly, Dhoni and Virat Kohli he has gone from the kid of the side to father figure. It is hard to imagine the pressure that this one man has had to deal with but as with everything nothing lasts for ever.
Over the last five years Sachin has enjoyed a good run of form, helping India to world cup glory and raising the team to world number one in test cricket. This probably was his last hoorah. The last year and a bit have been slightly tougher for the little master. It is evident that like Dravid before him, his seeing of the ball is getting slightly slower.
The announcement that Sachin will retire after the West Indies series comes as no surprise to anyone who has seen him play. The only surprise is that it had not come slightly earlier. The state of Indian cricket is the healthiest it has ever been, with many young players in the system.
The man that I predict will be given the first opportunity to replace the great man is Rohit Sharma. A very similar type of player, he know deserves a long run in the test side to prove his quality. No one is expecting him to do exactly what Sachin did but they want him to make his own name. If Rohit does not succeed there are plenty of others waiting in the wings for their chance.
I could go as far as saying with Dhoni and Kohli at the helm India have the best side they have ever had. These two names mentioned above are the two players who now carry the mantle of Sachin. They ironically grew up watching Sachin the superstar, now they call him bhai or paji.
Its with a heavy heart I say that Sachin Tendulkar retiring is a good thing for Indian cricket. He has given me so many good memories that I am sure I will treasure for a life time but I think it is time to keep these as good memories. Lets hope that the last few games of his career will highlight his whole career. Goodbye Sachin, have a great retirement in what ever you do.