Is India’s Sachin Tendulkar the greatest sportsman in the world?by Jay Elwes / July 20, 2011 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2011 issue of Prospect Magazine
The world’s best cricketer is on British soil this summer, in what may be his final tour of England. Sachin Tendulkar of India is here. There is a strong case that he is not only the greatest cricketer, but also at present the greatest sportsman in the world.
Tendulkar was born in Mumbai in 1973; his father, Ramesh, was a Marathi-language novelist. Sachin has always been special. In 1988, during a school match, he and a partner scored 664 runs between them, a record for any form of the game. Such was the ferocity of the onslaught that the bowlers were reduced to tears. This got him noticed, and the following year he was selected to make his first-class debut for Bombay aged only 15. Playing against professional cricketers, the boy scored a century. The following year he made his Test match debut for India against Pakistan. The Test match is the five-day long, most demanding form of the game. While batting, he was surprised by a quick delivery that hit him in the face, causing a nosebleed. Tendulkar did not leave the field and continued playing in a bloodstained shirt.