Across the world it was BC or AD. But from 1989 till 2013, it was Sachin Age, in India. See the front pages of all the national newspapers. Most of them splashed the news across eight columns and up to the bottom of the page.
The impact of Tendulkar on Indian masses can't be described in a short blog post. Indian cricket had come of age, long ago. Sunil Gavaskar remains a batting legend and no one can question his greatness. Still, there was a time when Indian team would do everything right but lacked the spirit that is needed to snatch victory.
SRT didn't just accumulate runs but scored them in style and also dominated the bowling attacks across the world--for such a long period.
In fact, the amount of cricket he has played is astonishing. No wonder, the pundits put him in the league with all-time greats like WG Grace and Sir Don Bradman.
It was under his shadow that the new crop of confident cricketers appeared on the scene. Today, certain players may act arrogantly and may not give him due credit, but we know the reality.
It was seeing Sachin play, that they got inspired to play the game and later, alongside him on the pitch, learnt the game, to become heroes of the new age.
Sachin's contribution to Indian cricket is immense. So much has been written and will be written about him. Mothers wanted their sons to be like him. Despite the accolades, he remains a down to earth person.
This is a rare quality. For a quarter century, he has been a superhero in this nation, and yet success never went to his head.
Clearly, he deserves Bharat Ratna. This post is not about his cricketing exploits as enough has been written elsewhere.There are numerous other qualities that made him the hero of this nation, and we will delve into them at a later stage.
Above are front pages of Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, The Telegraph, Mail Today and Asian Age. I wish I could get The Hindu's front page also. Hindi, Urdu papers also played up the news. [See Hindustan and Urdu Times, Mumbai on the right]
In fact, it deserved this much space. English newspapers dedicated the entire cover page but in comparison, regional language dailies gave space to other news stories also on this day.
OCTOBER 11, 2013.