Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's statue stands tall at Mumbai's Wankhede ahead of India-Sri Lanka game : The Tribune India

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Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's statue stands tall at Mumbai's Wankhede ahead of India-Sri Lanka game

Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar's statue stands tall at Mumbai's Wankhede ahead of India-Sri Lanka game

Wankhede Stadium: Sachin Tendulkar in bronze hits a six.



Tribune News Service

Rohit Mahajan

Mumbai, November 1

The drummers beat their drums to frenzy, the band boys and girls clanged their cymbals, working their way to a crescendo — and then, silken-shirted and loose-limbed, Sachin Tendulkar sauntered into the stadium, as if oblivious of all the fuss, as if getting a statue unveiled in one’s hometown, in one’s home stadium, is a commonplace occurrence.

He pressed a button, and voila — the red silken curtain hiding his statue disappeared, revealing the bronzed Tendulkar in the act of lofting the ball straight and high, presumably beyond the straight boundary.

It’s something of a novelty — Kapil Dev, probably the greatest Indian cricketer ever, doesn’t have a statue representing him; there’s none, also, for Sunil Gavaskar, probably the greatest Indian Test batsman.

Curiously, two statues of former cricketers were erected in the current century, in Pune and Visakhapatnam — and they represent not a modern great but relatively unknown players from an era long gone, DB Deodhar and CK Nayudu.

Tendulkar should be extremely proud of himself but, as is the wont, he did say that he was truly humbled on being immortalised through a statue. “I was delighted, to be honest,” said Tendulkar about being told early this year that a statue memorialising him was being planned. “I didn’t know how to react. I’m truly humbled when I stand here and go to the ground, where thousands of images come to my head. It’s truly God’s gift, to walk on that turf, which has given everything to me.”

The Tendulkar iconography, 10 years after he closed his 24-year-old career, reached a high point with his statue. He’s been called the ‘god of cricket’, and today officials/politicians such as Sharad Pawar and Rajeev Shukla and Jay Shah spoke with near reverence about him. Mumbai Cricket Association officials heaped praise on Tendulkar, referring to him as ‘god’.

Tendulkar looked thankful, but in a sort of banal, unsurprised manner, for being called god on a daily basis could become quite persuasive.

The Indian cricket team, though, seems to have more pressing matters at hand — at least Rohit Sharma, the carefree and laugh-a-minute captain, hadn’t noticed the huge Tendulkar in metal looming large over the square boundary.

“Statue?” he said, looking surprised. “Oh yes,” he said when reminded that Tendulkar’s statue was unveiled a couple of hours previously. “When we reached practice, we saw the statue. But we didn’t get to see it so closely because we were practising… We just came and we saw the statue and then we came back.”

Rohit was unsure about the shot the bronzed Tendulkar has presumably played. “I haven’t even seen the shot yet. It’s over cover, is it?” he said. “Straight lofted shot? Ah, yes.”

“Now what should I say in that? Straight lofted shot statue has been made there,” he said, bursting into uncontrollable laughter. “It’s nice. I hope you guys enjoyed it.”

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#Mumbai #Sachin Tendulkar #Sri Lanka


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