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Saluting Sachin: Tributes flow in from all quarters

Last updated on: March 17, 2012 13:26 IST

Saluting Sachin: Tributes flow in from all quarters

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Australian spin legend Shane Warne pleaded for an end to the talk of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement as he joined the international chorus of appreciation for the iconic Indian cricketer who, on Friday, scripted history by completing a century of international tons.

- 'Tendulkar leaves mark of true greatness on the game'

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Apart from close friend Warne, cricket legends of the likes of Sir Vivian Richards, former Australian captain Ian Chappell, Ian Botham, Rahul Dravid, Keven Pietersen and Tony Greig paid glowing tributes to the champion batsman.

"Congrats to Sachin on reaching his 100th international 100 -- just awesome buddy Please press no retirement Q'S and let Sachin enjoy the moment," Warne tweeted after Tendulkar reached the milestone against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup match in Mirpur.

The 114-run knock ended a year-long wait for the 38-year-old star batsman, whose 99th ton came during a World Cup match against South Africa in March 2011.

Image: Shane Warne with Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Reuters

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'Great player and wonderful ambassador for our great game'

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Tributes continued to pour in from other parts of the world as well with former England captain Tony Greig calling Tendulkar a fine ambassador of the game.

"Just woke up to the wonderful news that Sachin has made that century. Great player and wonderful ambassador for our great game," he said.

"Well played Sachin the little master...!!!" added legendary all-rounder Ian Botham.

England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is in Sri Lanka for a series, said the effort was way beyond imagination.

"Seriously has anyone actually thought about what Sachin has done here?? 100 100's!!!! Absolutely unbelievable.. Batters dream!" he said.


Image: Tony Greig
Photographs: Getty Images

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'Sachin's century feat will in all probability stay forever'

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Tendulkar's former teammate and the recently-retired Rahul Dravid marvelled at his genius.

"What stands out in an exceptional career of unbelievable achievements is Sachin Tendulkar's ability to change, adapt and mould his batting according to the conditions around him. What makes him a phenomenal player is that he has done so many things, be it scoring the highest number of Test and One-day runs or scoring a century of international centuries," he said.

"What he has done is set a benchmark for future generations which, probably, would be almost impossible for anyone to emulate. He has created a new milestone, which to my mind, is like Don Bradman's average of 99.94, the most memorable feat that any cricketer has achieved.

"Like overtaking Bradman's average appears almost impossible today, Sachin's century feat too will in all probability stay forever," he added.


Image: Rahul Dravid with Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Getty Images

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'I would now rate Tendulkar slightly ahead of Brian Lara'

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Similar words of appreciation came from former Australian captain Ian Chappell.

"The skill, the tenacity and the competitive urge still flows freely through the veins of Tendulkar. He seemed destined to conquer the batting Mount Everest from the moment it was said about him as a boy of 17, Tendulkar scored his first Test century at Old Trafford," he said.

"The fact that Tendulkar has handled fame so well and maintained an attacking outlook throughout is a tribute to not only his skill but also his wonderfully alert mind.

"Considering the length of his career and the fact that he was able to renew his attacking desires, I would now rate Tendulkar slightly ahead of Brian Lara and comfortably in front of a fading Ricky Ponting."

Image: Ian Chappell
Photographs: Reuters

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'Genius when it comes to ability, a Trojan when it comes to work ethic'

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West Indies legend described Tendulkar as a "genius" when it comes to ability and a "Trojan" when it came to work ethics.

"I believe Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest of them all, but seeing Tendulkar bat, I can say that when he is in top flight, in a variety of conditions, I have seen the best.

"He has been a genius when it comes to ability, a Trojan when it comes to work ethic and manic when it comes to his focus. Yet we often miss the little things that make him both human and exceptional", Richards said.

"As a sportsman, I know how damaging an injury can be. For a batsman, an elbow injury and corrective surgery could be akin to a professional death knell. But the way Sachin overcame those setbacks and played at the highest level with unmatched distinction is special", he said.

Image: Viv Richards
Photographs: Getty Images

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'He has earned the right to decide when exactly he wants to retire'

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Richards felt Tendulkar has earned the right to decide when to hang his boots.

"Friday's century was a testimony to Sachin Tendulkar's self belief and his unwavering focus. Many of his contemporaries who were spoken of in the same breath did not have the hunger and focus, which is why Sachin stands alone at the summit.

"And let it not be forgotten that he is no dour batsman, he still plays thrilling shots and has entertained more fans than any batsman has in the history of the game. All this with humility, bearing the burden of his team's batting and the expectations of his millions of fans," he said.

"I think Sachin has earned the right to decide when exactly he wants to put down his bat. He is mature and sensible individual and more importantly a very proud cricketer. He is not going to continue if he feels he is not performing up to his standards," he added.

Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Getty Images

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'His feat is unlikely to be achieved again'

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Veteran Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi also took to Twitter to appreciate Tendulkar's feat.

"...I guess chant today goes Sacccchiiiinnnn, Sachhhhhhiiiinnn.. Hmmm I have been chanting that for twenty years."

England Test captain Andrew Strauss also congratulated Tendulkar for reaching a milestone that might remain unsurpassed.

"Sachin is a player by which all others are measured over the last 10-15 years and for him to go out and get a hundred hundreds is an amazing achievement without precedent -- it's unlikely to be achieved again," he told BBC Sports.


Image: Andrew Strauss


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'The mother of all monkeys has been removed'

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Former England captain Nasser Hussain said even if the 100th ton had not come about, Tendulkar would still have remained a great player.

"Don Bradman is sometimes remembered, unfairly, as the batsman who did not quite average 100 in Test cricket. And there was a danger, as we all waited for Sachin Tendulkar to reach three figures again, that he would be remembered for the one international century he did not score, rather than the 99 he did. That would have been a shame -- and completely unjust," he said.

"You could tell after he tucked that single off his pads on Friday in Dhaka how much it meant to him. He's been criticised in the past for being a closed book, a guy who doesn't show his feelings too easily. But you could see the more human side of him after he took his helmet off to celebrate," he added.

"...he's done it and no one can ever take the achievement away. Finally, he can move on. The mother of all monkeys has been removed."


Image: Nasser Hussain


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