If one speaks of the greatest player to have ever played the game, the name Sachin Tendulkar makes it to the top. One of the greatest cricketers, he has been a boon to Indian cricket. The Messiah of Indian cricket in the 90s and the man who carried the weight of billion expectations on his strong shoulders took Indian cricket to a different level. But not many know that the God of cricket who is worshipped in India played for Pakistan before making his debut for Men in Blue.
The world knows that cricketing great made his debut in 1989 against a strong Pakistan side consisting of a strong bowling lineup of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir and many more. One fondly remembered a 16-year-old Sachin hitting his first international fifty and having a bleeding nose after being hit by a bouncer off Waqar Yonis. But to the utter surprise of the fans, this was not the first time the cricketing great stepped on the field for an international match.
On 20 January 1987, 2 years before making his international debut, Sachin stepped on the field playing for arch-rivals Pakistan against India. It was a friendly match arranged on the occasion of Cricket Club of India's golden jubilee occasion at the Braborne Stadium, Mumbai. While India was batting, Javed Miandad and Abdul Qadir chose to not play after lunch. Pakistan required some players to field and Imran Khan requested the CCI captain to ask local players available in the stadium.
Is Sachin eager to seize the opportunity asked the captain "Me jau ka " which means shall I go? And Sachin and his senior Khushru Vasania were sent to the field for Pakistan. Who knew that the little 14-year-old guy stepping on the field for Pakistan would turn out to be the greatest Indian cricketer to have played the game. Probably, it was the only moment, when a future "Bharatratna" played for Pakistan against India.
Very small in age, but high on passion, Sachin fielded for the Pakistani side for 25 overs and was eager to grab catches while being there on the field. He was disappointed to field on the boundary line as the ball either landed either in the stands or far away from him. In one instance Sachi tried hard to catch a ball hit by Kapil Dev but turned out to be unsuccessful as it landed away from him despite running so fast.
It was one of the most unique yet unknown days of the life of the God of cricket. That day he was disappointed, but 2 years later after he made his debut for India, he never disappointed the Indian fans. Every time he stepped on the field, he made sure a billion people switch their lives off to see him in action. With his batting, he made every record his own and gave memories to the cricket fans which are etched in their heart forever. The legacy he left is huge, which is why, even 9 years post his retirement, whenever fans see him in the stadium, they forget the match and start chanting "Sachin Sachin". Today on his 49th birthday, we wish this man goes on to live forever.
Happy Birthday to the man who symbolises cricket for a billion Indians and many more around the globe
Authored By:- Ashwin Jangam ( Cricket Analyst, Host and Entertainer)
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