Mumbai, Apr 24 IBNS | 3 months ago

Legendary cricketer and Bharat Ratna recipient Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from all forms of the game last year, turned 41 years of age on Thursday.


On his birthday, Tendulkar has returned to Mumbai from Dubai to cast his vote in the Lok Sabha elections.

Tendulkar, who is an 'icon' with the Mumbai Indians team in the Indian Premier League (IPL), will vote on his 41st birthday.

Urging the people of Mumbai to vote, Tendulkar posted on his Facebook page: "Every run counts in the game of cricket and every vote counts in an election. Don't underestimate the power of your vote. In Mumbai to exercise my right. Hope you play your part - Please Cast your vote."

Popularly holding the title "God of Cricket" among his fans, Tendulkar took up cricket at the age of eleven, made his Test debut against Pakistan at the age of sixteen, and went on to represent Mumbai domestically and India internationally for close to twenty-four years.

He is the only player to have scored one hundred international centuries, the first batsman to score a double century in a One Day International, the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket and the 16th player and first Indian to aggregate 50,000 runs or more in all forms of domestic and international recognised cricket.

In 2002, Wisden Cricketers' Almanack ranked him the second greatest Test batsman of all time, behind Don Bradman, and the second greatest ODI batsman of all time, behind Viv Richards.

Later in his career, Tendulkar was a part of the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup, his first win in six World Cup appearances for India.

He had previously been named "Player of the Tournament" at the 2003 edition of the tournament, held in South Africa. In 2013, he was the only Indian cricketer included in an all-time Test World XI named to mark the 150th anniversary of Wisden Cricketers' Almanack.

Tendulkar has received the Arjuna Award in 1994 for his outstanding sporting achievement, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1997, India's highest sporting honour, and the Padma Shri and Padma Vibhushan awards in 1999 and 2008, respectively, India's fourth and second highest civilian awards.

After a few hours of his final match on Nov 16, 2013, the Prime Minister's Office announced the decision to award him the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award. He is the youngest recipient to date and the first ever sports person to receive the award.

He also won the 2010 Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for cricketer of the year at the ICC awards.

Besides cricket, in 2012, Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India. He was also the first sports person and the first person without an aviation background to be awarded the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force. In 2012, he was named an Honorary Member of the Order of Australia.

In December 2012, Tendulkar announced his retirement from ODIs. He retired from Twenty20 cricket in October 2013 and subsequently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, retiring on 16 November 2013 after playing his 200th and final Test match, against the West Indies in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium.

Tendulkar played 664 international cricket matches in total, scoring 34,357 runs.

(Posted on 24-04-2014)