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Tendulkar voted Cricketer of the Generation

Last updated on: March 15, 2014 06:22 IST

Tendulkar voted Cricketer of the Generation

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Sachin Tendulkar was voted Cricketer of the Generation at the ESPNcricinfo awards on Friday.

The iconic batsman staved off stiff competition from spin legend Shane Warne and all-rounder par excellence Jacques Kallis for the accolade.

The award is meant to honour the most outstanding cricketer between 1993 and 2013, and the occasion also marked the 20th anniversary of the cricket website.

"I am speechless, honestly," said Tendulkar, after receiving the award.

"Thanks to ESPNcricinfo for considering me worthy enough. When Martin (Crowe) and Rahul (Dravid) both spoke about me, I didn't know how to react."

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Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: BCCI

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'How Kallis changed his batting technique and worked on his bowling was incredible'

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Tendulkar is, without doubt, the most successful batsman of his generation, having set innumerable records in both Tests and One-Day Internationals.

He rewrote some of the most coveted batting records, including those for most Test runs and Test hundreds, and most ODI runs and ODI hundreds.

The Mumbaikar is the only cricketer to score hundred international centuries.

On Kallis, Tendulkar said, "I first saw him in 1996. He looked an okay player and I thought this guy could become a decent all-rounder. But over a period of time, how he changed his batting technique and worked on his bowling was incredible.

"Kallis used to walk with his head down and I used to tell my teammates that once he has realised which way the blades of the grass are, he is going to make you pay."

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Image: Jacques Kallis
Photographs: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images/Getty Images

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'Warne had the talent but wasn't consistent enough'

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Talking about Warne, he said, "I first played against Warne in 1992, and you could make out he had the talent, but he wasn't consistent enough in the first game.

"The second time I faced him was in Sri Lanka and I was beaten by his spin. I charged him next ball and was lucky to get away. Warne came up to me and tried to charge me up, but I turned towards square leg and ignored him. Post match, I asked him, 'Warne, what were you trying to say?' From then onwards we became good friends."

Tendulkar ended his glorious 24-year international career last November, signing off with an elegant 74 against the West Indies in his final Test innings.

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Image: Shane Warne
Photographs: Morne de Klerk/Getty Images

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Dhawan got the award for best Test batting

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Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma won awards for best batting performances in Tests and ODIs, while Mitchell Johnson and Shahid Afridi bagged the top prize in Test bowling and ODI bowling respectively.

Dhawan, who slammed the fastest century as a debutant, scoring 187 against Australia, got the award for best Test batting.

His opening partner Rohit Sharma won the award in ODIs for his brilliant 209 against Australia in Bangalore. He beat the likes of Virat Kohli and Kiwi top-order batsman Martin Guptill.

Aussie speedster Johnson, who is at the peak of his form, was awarded the best bowling performance in Test cricket for his match-winning spell of seven for 40 on a flat wicket in Adelaide against arch-rivals England in the Ashes series.

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Image: Shikhar Dhawan
Photographs: BCCI

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Best bowling award to Afridi

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Mercurial Pakistan player Shahid Afridi won the award for best bowling in ODIs, for his devastating spell of seven for 12 against the West Indies in the Caribbean.

Promising Indian pacer Mohammad Shami was the best debutant that was voted by fans, while Tarak Sinha got the award for contribution to cricket that was decided by a panel, headed by former India captain Rahul Dravid.

Sinha is the first recipient of the award, recognised for producing 11 international and over 100 first-class cricketers.

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Image: Shahid Afridi
Photographs: Graham Crouch/Getty Images

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'Perth innings was a game changer for me'

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Tendulkar said his 114 at Perth in 1992 was a game changer for him.

"Perth innings was a game changer for me because from that point onwards I thought I was ready to take on the world. I had a lot of belief in my ability, but that innings took it to next level."

He also felt Test cricket is in safe hands.

"I still believe Test cricket is in good hands. If you see around the world, most matches have results, which is probably due to T20 too; so the formats are complementing each other."


Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Paul Kane/Getty Images

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