Sachin Tendulkar made his international debut at the young age of 16 against Pakistan, but from the moment he stepped on to the field he reflected the maturity and composure truly befitting the gentlemen's game reminisces his first manager and veteran cricketer Chandu Borde.
"Sachin always kept his emotions under control and played the game in its right spirit. Even in incidents where he was wrongfully dismissed by the umpires, he did not dispute the decisions or show any negative behaviour towards the umpires," recalls Borde. Such dismissals, particularly the recent one by umpire Nigel Llong might have riled his fans, but for Sachin it is part of the game.
Borde was Sachin's manager in his debut tour to Pakistan, was also the manager of the team in 2007. He can recount countless incidents where Sachin continued to keep his cool and carried on concentrating on his game rather than get swept away by negative emotions. Borde recalls that in 2007 he was given out twice at around the 90-runs mark otherwise Sachin would have hit two more centuries in the series.
However, on both the occasions, Sachin did not show any displeasure at the umpire's decision. Instead, he kept his emotions under control and in the true spirit of the game, walked away from the pitch. Later on, the umpires approached Sachin in the dressing room and admitted that they had made a mistake. Sachin on the contrary carried no grudge and was only interested in correcting his game.
"If a cricketer of his stature can behave in such a dignified manner, then his behaviour sets an example for the cricketers of the day to keep their emotions in check and concentrate on their game," believes Borde.
What amazed Borde during the 2007 trip was also that despite tasting tremendous success since the debut tour in 1989, Sachin had the same zeal to learn and make improvisations to the game. "What surprised me during the tour was that despite scoring so many runs and becoming the nation's darling, Sachin had remained the same person," recalls Borde. Sachin charmed everyone with his humility and dedication to the game. He was always willing to learn new techniques that would help him improve his game.
In 2007, when India was playing against South Africa in Ireland, Sachin got out in a particular manner. When he returned to the pavilion, he was sitting at one end. Borde approached him and told him, "Sachin, the ball that you tried to play towards leg, should have been played straight." The next day, Sachin practiced at the nets with Borde for several hours. He then kept playing straight. After that he didn't stop, recalls Borde.
"There are so many marvellous qualities in Sachin that I think he will continue to be a youth icon. Sachin has sacrificed tremendously for the game. He could have enjoyed the pleasures of youth, but he single-mindedly carried on with his disciplined lifestyle due to his love for the game" feels Borde.
In fact, Sachin is very willing to provide assistance and guidance to upcoming cricketers in India and overseas. For the students of Global Indian International School (GIIS), the memory of the Master Blaster's visit to GIIS Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) campus on 18 September 2006, along with five other members of the Indian Cricket Team, will be cherished for a long time to come. The visit coincided with GSFs Foundation Day that year and to make the occasion memorable, Sachin offered support and encouragement to upcoming cricketing talent at the school.
Borde, who is also the Vice President of the Global Schools Foundation,hosted the Indian team and expressed that their visit to GIIS will go a long way in boosting the development of national-level players from GIIS Schools, who could go on to represent their countries in national and international cricket tournaments. Sachin, along with the Indian Team, appreciated GIIS efforts in encouraging cricket, especially in non-cricket playing countries.
Following a surge in interest inspired by Sachin and the Indian Cricket team, GIIS has set up the Global Indian International School ChanduBorde Global Cricket Academy. "Sachin Tendulkar is a great inspiration to our students. When he is on the field he reflects great reflexes and steadfast focus to the game. With his attention to details and magnificent execution of each shot, he continues to be a motivator for our students," says AtulTemurnikar, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of GIIS.
Sachin keeps inspiring the youth in India and the diaspora overseas with his glorious qualities and Borde believes that this endeavour will continue even after Sachin has bid adieu to active cricket. "I do not believe Sachin can ever distance himself from sports. It's in his blood. In the future I wish to see him don the cap of India's Sports Minister and raise our overall sports performance to glorious levels, as he has done for Indian cricket". That's not only the wish, but hope of every Indian.