Sachin Tendulkar, the "little master" who is known as India's greatest cricketer, left the pitch Friday for what's likely to be the last time.
As NPR's Julie McCarthy reported on All Things Considered, "India's greatest cricketer" had announced he'd be retiring after a "test match" against the West Indies that's now being played in Mumbai. His impending departure, she said, had been generating "fevered celebrations for the 40-year-old batsman who has dominated the Indian imagination on and off the field, and whose self-effacing demeanor masked a steely determination to win."
Even Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger paid homage with a tweet: "Saluting you @Sachin_RT on your last Test match. Thanks for all the wonderful cricket you've shown us over the last 25 years, we'll miss you."
We've posted about Tendulkar and his achievements before. As we've said, his accomplishments can be compared to other amazing moments in sports:
Think about Roger Bannister breaking the four-minute mile mark. Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points in an NBA game. Or maybe Don Larsen throwing a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Friday, though, seems to have been more of a "mighty Casey" moment for him. Here's how The Associated Press starts its story about what happened:
"MUMBAI, India — When the crowd realized it was the end, they were stunned into silence. Soon, the polite applause turned into a roar that grew louder and louder Friday as India's greatest cricket batsman walked closer to what is likely his final exit."
It seems that Tendulkar "edged a delivery that was caught by Darren Sammy," the AP adds, and was done after scoring 74 runs. Translation: A ball he nicked with his bat was caught in the air — meaning Tendular was out (just like in baseball).
Fans, as the Times of India says, had high hopes that he would "bow out with a century" — 100 or more runs. Alas, that wasn't to be.
Now, we said at the start of this post that it's "likely" he won't be back at bat before the match ends. Today was Day 2 of what could be, at most, a five-day match. The cricket fans in our office tell us that India is far enough ahead of the West Indies (270 runs ESPNcricinfo says) that the match will likely end on Saturday (Day 3) because the West Indies will run out of batsmen before it either catches up or passes India's score.
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