Mumbai, 14 November
Municipal workers pulled down a huge Sachin Tendulkar poster in front of the Wankhede Stadium minutes after the cricketer had gone into it for his swansong Test here today.
The poster put up by Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Vinod Tawde was a talking point among fans outside Gate No 2. As the Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation is run by a Shiv Sena-BJP combine, the removal left the politician stumped.
“Why politicise Tendulkar?" a shocked fan told reporters, but there were others who said: "If any political party puts up a poster congratulating Tendulkar, what harm did it do?"
In another development, left embarrassed after huge billboards featuring Virat Kohli had overshadowed Tendulkar’s pictures, the Mumbai Cricket Association today removed the ones displaying the rising star from the stadium. In a departure from tradition, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has had the words "Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar 200th Test" embossed below its own logo on the national team’s jersey. In the USA, The New York Times has paid rich tributes to Tendulkar.
“This week, for more than a billion people, the world as they know it effectively comes to an end. The second Test match between India and the West Indies …will be the last international appearance of one Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar,” a Wall Street Journal article titled "Farewell to Cricket’s Little Master" said.
Time magazine put out a special online feature highlighting Tendulkar’s 10 greatest moments, including his 664-run unbroken partnership with Vinod Kambli in 1988, becoming the captain of the Indian team in 1996 at age 23, surpassing Caribbean great Brian Lara to become the highest run-scorer in Test history in 2008 and the 2011 World Cup win.
The New York Times
said it would be “entirely accurate” to describe Tendulkar as the most revered contemporary Indian, “or even, with only a pinch of hyperbole, the most revered Indian since Mahatma Gandhi held the nation in thrall. Suspend your disbelief and think of him as a cross between Babe Ruth and Martin Luther King.”