The date was May 23, 1999 when legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar scored unbeaten 140 off 101 balls against Kenya in the ODI World Cup.
In between the mega event in England, Tendulkar lost his father and came back to India at the funeral and stayed there for four days. But the champion soon recoiled himself to return back to England and play for his country.
“After spending four days in India, I returned to England to rejoin the team on the eve of the match against Kenya. That, it seemed to me, was what my father would have wanted me to do, and that’s what prompted the decision to return to London to play the remaining World Cup matches,” said Tendulkar in his book ‘Playing It My Way’.
Getting an invitation to bat first against Kenya, India were reduced to 92 for 2 when Tendulkar stepped in for the rescue. The classy right-hander batted till the end to see India reach 329/2 in the stipulated quota of 50 overs.
Tendulkar hit 16 fours and three sixes in the process, adding 237 runs with Rahul Dravid for the third wicket.
— ICC (@ICC) May 23, 2020
“Mentally, however, I was not at my best throughout the tournament. I had to wear dark glasses during the practice sessions, because at times I could not hold back my tears. Though I managed to score a hundred in the match against Kenya – which remains one of my most cherished centuries, one I dedicated to my father – my mind was not always on the game,” explained Tendulkar in his autobiography.