There is so much that has already been said about Sachin and his 20 years in international cricket that anything I blog will be redundant. People have and will talk about the world record he shared with kambli, the last ball over in hero cup '94, the swashbuckling 1996 WC, the desert storm of Sharjah '98, the broken back innings of Chennai '99, the melodious flowing dominating 2003 WC, the latest centuries in Sydney, Chennai and Hyderabad, the Everest of runs in all forms of cricket and the eventuality of him hanging his boots. But nevertheless here is my tribute to my hero and undoubtedly the best cricketer of all times.
What we often forget is that he is a normal human being. He has his family and may need some peaceful privacy in life. Its like in the movie "The Truman Show". He has been constantly observed, loved, criticized, praised, worshiped since he was 14. And how well he has taken the pressure. Just to give an example of the pressure he faced at that time: He was presented batting pads by the world's leading test run scorer and told by many legends of the game that he would play for India. He was sent letters inked in blood saying please don't retire because of the back injury. When Sachin bats trains have been known to stop minutes just to let everyone on board catch up on the action. When he made 15000 runs in ODI cricket the sensex rose to a new high. Every match he plays in the TRP fall down drastically when he gets out.
It will be stupid to say he doesnt realize how much we love him. Of all the people he will know the most how his countrymen have risen and fallen with each of his innings and with each twist and turn of his life and career. We all thank GOD like he does, after reaching a 50/100 or a major landmark. We all wept with him when he lost his father and dedicated the next 100 to him. We all dance with joy at his every dive, every catch, every run he scores. He might just hit one four and get out but for us it is all worth it.
I think the only demon he has left to fight is retirement. And he will fight it with his own style, just like he has been fighting his own demons for the past 20 years. I am not sure if anyone can thank him enough for his contribution to sports in general but Knighthood for Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar is the least that should be done.