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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS: 'Salaam Sachin... the world's greatest!'

PHOTOS: 'Salaam Sachin... the world's greatest!'

Last updated on: November 12, 2013 21:47 IST

'That he kept performing regardless of what was going around him is amazing'

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Rediff Sports Desk

As ‘God of cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar readies to retire after his 200th Test, a grand farewell 'Salaam Sachin' was organised by the India Today Group in honour of the iconic batsman.

The conclave, which featured leading sportspersons, cricket greats, Bollywood actors and corporate top bosses, was one of the biggest farewell tributes to the master batsman.

Take a look at what the speakers said:

India’s tennis star Sania Mirza was in awe of Sachin Tendulkar's ability to handle pressure.

“The fact that he kept performing regardless of what was going around him is amazing. Sachin, in the last 10-12 years, demands that respect (from the media) where he should not be taken up for doing things like going to a party. We all do that.”


Image: Sania Mirza
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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'Sachin was so tightfisted with his compliments'

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Rediff Sports Desk

Another ardent admirer of Tendulkar and his longtime teammate, pacer Javagal Srinath also paid rich tribute to the legendary batsman while recounting many indelible moments.

"One thing which I liked about Sachin... he was so tightfisted with his compliments. He would never compliment you so easily. It's quite tough to get a compliment from him. If at all you want to know what he has said about you, it could be from others," said Srinath.


Image: Javagal Srinath
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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'Paaji became so emotional after winning the World Cup'

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Rediff Sports Desk

Teammate Suresh Raina said it was amazing to see the same kind of hunger in Tendulkar during the 2011 World Cup, like he first showed way back in 1989 during his Test debut.

"He was keen to win the World Cup. When we were playing the final (against Sri Lanka), we did not get a good start and players started roaming around for tea and snacks. At that time, paaji told everyone to be seated and watch the match. That shows his involvement. When we won the World Cup, and the way his family, fans and the whole of Mumbai rejoiced, it was a touchy moment for every player. Paaji became so emotional after winning it. It showed how desperate he was to win the Cup," Raina recalled.


Image: Suresh Raina
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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'Learn a lot about the working culture from Tendulkar'

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Rediff Sports Desk

Double Olympic medalist wrestler Sushil Kumar said he tried to learn a lot about the working culture from Tendulkar.

“It doubled my happiness after winning the second Olympic medal and then getting the call from Sachin. I was just speechless; I could not talk to him. He congratulated me and I was very delighted to get a call from him.”


Image: Sushil Kumar
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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'Sachin can eat as much butter chicken as he wants'

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Rediff Sports Desk

Tendulkar has always lived under stress and pressure to fulfill the dreams of a billion Indians and his 24-year international career is ending on a happy note, Ajit Tendulkar, elder brother of the legendary batsman, said.

"After November 18, Sachin won't wear his India cap. It will be a big change because he has been wearing it with pride for 24 years.

"Throughout his career, everyone expected him to score 100s and he was under tremendous stress and pressure, but all that has been worth. After retirement, there won't be the bowlers to face or those work-outs. Perhaps, he can eat as much butter chicken as he wants," he added.


Image: Ajit Tendulkar
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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'He has changed the history of cricket'

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Rediff Sports Desk

Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar, the two former Pakistan pacers, also paid rich tribute to Tendulkar.

While Waqar said the Indian batting superstar was "right at the top" in the world, Shoaib termed him the "greatest player in the world".

"From being a boy (when he made his debut in 1989 against Pakistan), he went on to rule the world of cricket. All the four Tests of that series were played on greenish pitches and he played very well. He's right at the top - the top 3. He has made many runs in and outside sub-continent. His statistics tell us what he has done," said Waqar.

Shoaib gushed: "He has changed the history of cricket. He's the world's greatest player. I felt great when I got him out and I take pride when he did not hit me out of the park. He's the hero of the world (of cricket)."


Image: Waqar Younis and Shoaib Akhtar
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani

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'Tendulkar was born to play cricket, he didn't need an inspiration'

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Rediff Sports Desk

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar termed Tendulkar's retirement as the "biggest" the game has ever seen.

He added, "Tendulkar was born to play cricket, he didn’t need an inspiration as such. He is one of the athletes who come once in a life time who are meant to embellish that sport and make sport grow beyond the sport itself. You would say that with football with Pele and with basketball with Michael Jordan."


Image: Sunil Gavaskar


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