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Liverpool FC Season Preview: 2016-17

Posted: August 13, 2016 by Niranjan Kuppan in Barclays Premier League, Football

New season, new hope. That’s Liverpool’s mantra ever since they last won the league some 26 years ago. But for the most part it would seem like a false alarm. Specially with all the off field troubles that had plagued the club over the years. Ambition from the previous owners after the opportunity that presented itself post that dramatic champions league night in Istanbul sustained only for 2 years and the gamble of appointing an exciting young manager backfired because of the nerve required to manage a club of this stature. Yet, the new season brings with it, an optimism unheard in recent times. And all that revolves around one man, the enchanting Jürgen Klopp. Liverpool’s charismatic manager has managed to turn the tide on what was a un Liverpool like crowd since the departure of their enigmatic front man Luis Suarez. There is belief that the wretched run of form will finally be arrested. But it is not a “Next season is ours” kind of belief. This is more measured and a patience to wait and stand by their passionate manager. How far can Liverpool go this season?

With no European football and a squad well equipped with Klopp’s preferred Gegenpressing style, expect Liverpool to go all out in all their matches this season. They played the most number of matches for any club in Europe last season and yet managed to reach two finals with a squad that fell well short of those standards. His knack of making better players out of the ones in his disposal showed in the way he shaped the likes of Adam Lallana, Divock Origi, Dejan Lovren, Emre Can and Roberto Firmino. Expect the same for all his summer recruits this season.

His lack of enterprise in the summer transfer window, although not surprising (Klopp was never a big spender), it did seem a little unwanted because the owners had money and he could have really bought in a couple of world class talents paying a hefty price. But he resisted that urge and it showed in pre-season with the performances of Marko Grujic and Ragnar Klavan. Sadio Mane is always a big talent and given his wealth of experience in the premier league he was expected to slot in quickly and he did that perfectly. He added more muscle to the back line with the addition of Joel Matip and Klavan while midfield was bolstered by the towering presence of Grujic and the energetic Wijinaldum.  Despite that Klopp could have done well in the full back department by adding another left back during this time and not letting Jon Flanagan go on loan. Yet, it seemed like good business given he has also cleared out a lot of players for very decent money. The 75% clause on on-loan players and buy back and first denial on younger players showed why a top club like Liverpool needs a top coach in charge. This is his team now and he won’t complain one bit. He praised the quality of the squad left by Brendan Rodgers even though most of us cribbed and managed to out-perform. It will be all too exciting to see how his team does this season. What his recruits secretly show is that Liverpool are no longer dependent on the two world class talents in the team to bail them out all the times, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge.

There is healthy competition for places given the likes of Lallana and Henderson will be fighting for places and not automatic choices. Yet despite all of this there is no guarantee on where would Liverpool finish this season. They should be in Europe next season although it is still not clear in what competition. Antonio Conte had remarked that Klopp has had 9 months to work his style in the team and that gives him a clear advantage and he may be right. Guardiola and Conte are new to the league and Mourinho is new to a club that does not necessarily subscribe to his philosophy. Klopp will have no excuses if he missed out on Champions league next season because of limited game time. He would realise that it is his best chance of taking the next step towards Liverpool greatness. Also expecting a good run in the cup competitions given the squad strength & quality and the development of academy youngsters. Expect youngsters to be fighting for places in the cup competitions despite the availability of seniors. A cup and a champions league spot looks ideal but it is also far from guaranteed. But one thing is for sure. Jürgen Klopp’s transformation of Liverpool is progressing faster than expected and that is hope.

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There was a moment during Leicester City’s unveiling as Premier League Champions at the King Power stadium following their victory against Everton. While players were taking turns to lift the trophy some of them had to literally drag a reluctant player from the background, thrust him with the trophy and make him lift it while all along he was blushing with the new found fame. It was N’Golo Kante, the midfield destroyer around whom most of team’s victories was scripted. Leicester City’s extra ordinary tale from bottom of the premier league to champions in a matter of a solitary year is filled with sub plots of such individuals who raised themselves from obscurity to one of the biggest titles that they could ever hope to hold, English Premier League Winners. But it all begins with a manager, the perineal bridesmaid who has finally become the bride.

Claudio Ranieri finally has that league trophy that has eluded him in all of the 26 years that he thrust himself in managing a football club. He is to the premier league what Goran Ivanisevic was for Wimbledon. When Ranieri was announced as Leicester Manager at the beginning of the season following the controversial yet successful Nigel Pearson, there were a lot of eye brows raised in doubt which included yours truly. Despite managing some big clubs has been always identified as a cup winner than a league winner. But why would they turn to a man who had failed so badly in his previous assignment in Greece? There was a sense of Leicester simply trying to stay afloat in the league or they just did not have many choices. Lest we know that they were making a coup very similar to the ones they pulled off in bringing in the likes of Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kante. And how well has he done! He turned a team of mostly second choices and discards into a fearless well-knit unit where everybody knew what they were doing and played for each other than for themselves. I guess this is what he had always wanted. Not a top team of glorious individuals but a team that he could mould. Reminds us a bit of Valencia and Rafa Benitez doesn’t it? And how in the world did he make 4-4-2 relevant again? All it took was a compact back four and Kante with excellent support act from Danny Drinkwater. Finally, a good old fashioned English football. It helped that the foxes barely played more than a game a week for most part of the campaign. But so did Liverpool in the title chasing 2013-14 season. We all know how that ended! Brendan Rodgers first fell under the Chelsea bus and tried to close an outrageous 12 goal gap with Manchester City with two games to spare. Ranieri simply chose to play the opponent by their merit. Experience do counts.

Perhaps nobody epitomises the fearless spirit of the foxes than their poster boy, Jamie Vardy. From the interviews he gave to college students as a non-league player to being mentioned in awe by the likes of Gary Linaker is no mean feat. His searing pace, finishing ability and that touch of audacity while leading the line for Leicester made him the face of Leicester city and rightfully so. But none of this would have happened without the outstanding Riyad Mahrez who deservedly won the PFA player of the year. His trickery and skill has been the real difference to the Midland club’s rise to the pinnacle of English Football. Despite all their creative ability, the foxes’ fans owe a lot to their two colossal central defenders in captain Wes Morgan and Robert Huth who put their bodies on their line week in and week out while also coming up with the occasional but all important goals. Leicester City was relentless throughout the season but the key to that was staying injury free (which they did) and Ranieri’s vision to play a game on its merit and give enough respect to the opposition but at the same time closing the games out when it is done and dusted. No extravagance and focus only on crossing the line game after game. At the same time, it did not look like Chelsea’s parking the bus trick.

The real question however will rise now. Will Leicester City be able to maintain this? Purely on gut instinct I feel that they will most likely finish outside the top four next season. Will they be able to do well in the champions league? If they get out of their group, it will be a miracle. But there is no doubt that they will enjoy their football and their fearless attitude will give them new fans but Ranieri for all his experience will know that it will be tough for them in Europe. Are we in for more surprises from the Tinker man and his fearless foxes? Because on face value any European standard forward will shred both Morgan and Huth to pieces and if they get out in group stages, then a long journey in the Europa league awaits. They won the league by fielding fewer players than any other team. Will they be able to sustain the pressure of playing in four tournaments and 60 games a year? Will Claudio Ranieri and Leicester City do a Nigel Clough and Nottingham Forest?

Their first step will be in tying their star players to long term contracts and secondly in bringing quality backups. The scouting team that spotted the likes of Vardy, Mahrez and Kante will have do overtime to bring in new players of such promise. There are a million questions but now is not the time to answer them. Now is a time to celebrate one of the greatest sporting triumphs of all time. A reinstating of the belief that it’s not always about money and that hard work, focus and dedication still has relevance in modern day success stories. This is not a fairy tale. This is a tale of one team unwilling to give up and ready to fight like their lives were dependent on it. Leicester City and Claudio Ranieri has done it. The team did not bully their opponents nor did their manager played mind games with other managers and players. They just played good football. And for that we thank you.

A World Cup that wasn’t

Posted: April 3, 2015 by Niranjan Kuppan in Cricket
Tags: ,

A World Cup that wasn’t

As Australia took back yet another World Cup in a yet another one sided match, it’s hard not to reflect on what has been a “different” (I don’t know how else to put it) World Cup of sorts. The tournament itself was barely engaging that exposed alarming gaps between the teams. Yet neither Australia looked like run away favorites nor did batsmen brush aside bowlers. It’s been a bowler’s tournament powered by Mitchel Starc’s Player of the Series heroics and that’s a good sign. But overall, the ICC Cricket World Cup of 2015 was an average tournament with hardly any close games bar one or two. So how did the teams perform overall?

Australia – Best of the Lot

Australia is still not in the same level as their world beating team of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. This team is still very susceptible against good bowling teams. But powered by an inform Steve Smith and a fired up Mitchel Starc and with a passionate home support (Semifinal was a different story though!) Australia simply did the right things at the right time to bring home the cup. But it remains to be seen how well they progress from now especially outside their home.

 New Zealand – One Man Army

When Mitchel Starc bowled Brendan McCullum in the first over of the World Cup final, how many of you thought “this is it for New Zealand” and how many of you turned off your TV? It was as simple as that. Sure they performed very well overall but the Black Caps rose and fell with their captain who was their biggest threat and a very aggressive captain. Trent Boult was outstanding and so was Corey Anderson while Grant Elliot was Renaissance man. But you knew in your hearts that it was about McCullum and that’s how it turned out to be. It was a great team performance but not worthy of a World Cup win.

South Africa – Choked Again!

I’m sorry to break the little bubble that you all went in after their loss in the semi final but I genuinely felt that South Africa choked yet again. Not just in that heart breaking game at Eden Park but even otherwise. They lost to India and Pakistan in the group stages, had one good game against Sri Lanka and at halfway through in the Semifinals, they had 300 to defend in 43 overs with what was billed as the best bowling line up in the world and a captain like AB DeVilliers. Yet they somehow managed to choke their way back to Johannesburg. Fielding lapses and dropped catches are not something that you associate with them and ABD’s brilliance as a batsman conveniently morphs the fact that he is not a good captain under pressure. It’s like defending 350 in 50 overs. Even Holder would have done it with his eyes closed. The best fast bowler in the world bowls a length ball in the penultimate ball of the match against a “who is this guy again?” batsman who was not a regular for NZ before the World Cup. CHOKED! (Read that a 100 times)

India – Over Achievers

 Despite the beating they got in the preceding CB series and the long Australian summer that would have burned them out, India somehow managed to find reserves both physically and mentally to put in a performance worthy of being the defending champions. 77 wickets in 8 matches and bowling out every opposition except their eventual conquerors and considering Australia and New Zealand played just the one game outside their country, team India’s performance was of the top drawer. Credit to Dhoni for lifting the team up at the right time and the performances of Shikhar Dhawan among batsmen, Ravichandran Ashwin and the three pace bowlers were commendable. It was not a typical Indian performance where wins are buttered with brilliant individual performances but a true team effort where none stood out as exceptional but still got the job done. But for one Steve Smith, #wewontgiveitback and #maukamauka would have been a reality.

Sri Lanka – We Know the Story

Sri Lanka are a below average team outside the sub continent. Need I say more? Oh yeah, just the one thing. Kumar Sangakkara – Take a bow! What a player and what a loss to cricket. I hope he gets into administration after his retirement from test cricket and clean up the mess that is Sri Lanka cricket. There is a lot of passionate following in Sri Lanka and they deserve a much better team to support.

Pakistan – Lads! It’s Pakistan

I really don’t have to say anything more.

West Indies – The (usual) case of what would have been

Plagued by off field player-management tensions, West Indies still managed a decent showing thanks to their young & passionate captain. You can’t but think what would have happened if Bravo, Pollard and Narine played in this team. Whether they are poorly managed or the players have big egos, there is a need for solutions both short team and in the long run. We don’t want to lose a team like West Indies, do we? Remember how the whole of cricketing world rejoiced when they won the T20 World Cup? Need more of those.

Bangladesh – Stupidity and More Stupidity

The way Bangladesh celebrated their entry into Quarterfinals by beating an abject England side said a lot about their overall mind set. They have been a test playing side for 15 years, backed by an over passionate, partisan supports back home and no short of finances or talent. Yet this was termed as an over achievement and an upset. And the way they lost to India and reactions aftermath just goes to show how backward they are as a nation in general. Blaming umpires in a tense finish is one. But blaming them on a absolute battering is complete stupidity. Grow up Bangladesh.

The Minnows – Just Impressions

For UAE it was all about the experience while Scotland impressed with their work ethic. Afghanistan showed why Cricket can be great to a war ravaged nation. Led by the impressive and clam Mohammed Nabi, the Afghans won a lot of heart with their performances. With the right support and backing, they can be great for cricket itself. I expected a whole lot from Ireland than what they achieved at this World Cup. They have got a very good set of players and a case of argument must be made for why they should be playing regular cricket and if they do, they will be a quarterfinalists in the next edition. I can promise you that. It pains me to add Zimbabwe in this group but most of their performances were close to being one. Cast aside Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams and they are no better than UAE. Africa needs more than just South Africa to sustain cricket in that continent. By the way, is Kenyan Cricket still alive?

World Cup XI

Some of you may not agree with at least a couple of my selections but I selected the team base on the quality of their performances than just blind stats.

Brendan McCullum (C & WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Kumar Sangakkara, Steve Smith, AB Devilliers, Glen Maxwell, Corey Anderson, Daniel Vettori, Trent Boult, Wahab Riaz and Mitchel Starc.


Sports can be such a different career in a lot of ways. Sports persons peak at an age when young men and women take baby steps in their careers. They retire in an age where every other professional attain their peak powers. The moment their bodies don’t respond to the mind, they call it quits. Yet in such a short career span, sport can be so satisfying and fulfilling. As a professional sport, dominated by club games, football can be so demanding on a player’s body and mind. Yet with their endurance and skill set, they manage to illuminate our hearts as well as the stadiums they play in. This particular season in English football, many players who would be branded as greats in the not so distant future and one manager who is probably the greatest of them all, chose to call it a day. Here is a look at those amazing people.

He was the most naturally gifted striker that England has ever produced. Fast as a blur, boyish charm and with the kind of instinct inside the box, he was a nightmare for defenders around the world. But post his explosive start and prolific scoring for Liverpool, Michael Owen never really found that gear at Real Madrid where he found his chances limited among the galaxy of stars at the Bearnabeu. His career hit rock bottom after a plethora of injuries he sustained during his stay at St James’ Park. But that did not stop Sir Alex Ferguson from signing him (Being a Reds fan, I was livid to say the least).  Though he played fewer matches during his time at Manchester Unted, he did make his mark with a signature last minute goal in that amazing Manchester derby. Despite his move to United, he is still my favorite striker. Two moments still stays fresh in memory, that amazing goal at the ’98 World Cup game against Argentina and his brace in the FA cup final against Arsenal in 2001 where the Gunners did not lose to Liverpool but to Michael Owen.

A season of goodbyes, none bigger than Sir Alex Furguson.

He would probably go down as one of the last one club player in the premier league. The great wall of Liverpool, Jamie Carragher’s legacy lies in his loyalty, commitment, using maximum use of one’s potential, fighting instinct and most of all, being the ultimate team man. He was the bedrock of Liverpool’s defense for the past 15 years and every time I see his name on the team sheet I feel secure and assured. Images of an exhausted Carra fighting cramps but still throwing his body around against a marauding Serginho in 30 tiring minutes of extra time at the Champions  Trophy finals in 2005 still stands out. Wonder if anyone can replicate that.

He retired a year ago only to come back at his boss’ request. Though he had a very ordinary season by his high standards, one can’t take away the fact that Paul Scholes is one of the strongest pillars on which lies the museum of those glittering trophies that United won in the Ferguson Era. United will sorely miss and will need a midfield general that was Scholes. Who is going to deliver those killer passes from deep in the midfield? Who is going to dictate the game? Can Michael Carrick step it up?

He is a superstar in more ways than one. Despite not being an exceptionally talented player, with his dead ball skills and that precise, defense splitting pass, he was such a potent weapon in any team’s midfield. But David Beckham’s footballing legacy lies beyond the pitch. He was an icon, a poster boy who drove people, especially women to watch the game. Though the game is much bigger than him, he became the reason why a lot of people watched football. That is something very few people can do. You can talk about Dennis Bergkamp’s technical acumen, laud Steven Gerrard’s leadership or wonder how cool Alan Shearer is every time he puts it past a keeper. But you always need a Beckham to make people watch all that in the first place. He was football’s brand ambassador.

The English Premier League has indeed lost its sheen a bit after the decline and retirements of so many greats in recent years. When I first started to watch the game seriously, I remember the great battles between two amazing quartets. Sir Alex Ferguson’s trump cards Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Ruud Van Nistelroy for Manchester United against Arsene Wenger’s invincible geniuses Robert Pires, Patrick Viera, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry for Arsenal. When will we ever get to see something like that again?

And now the biggie, the actual reason why most of you are reading this article. Being a Reds fan it is such a difficult thing to talk, let alone praise someone from 40 miles away, especially one who vowed to knock Liverpool off their perch and did that successfully. But of late, Sir Alex Ferguson is held in such high esteem that it’s okay to do so. Looking at him from beyond my mental borders, I have to say, “Thanks Fergie”! I remember my time in Manchester when I used to work at the Theatre of Dreams as a bartender, interacting with the club’s long standing members. They spoke so fondly of Sir Alex and how he is the source of all the glittering trophies that begs for space in the Museum downstairs and that no matter who comes and goes, as long as he is there United will be fine. I wonder if they can still say that next season.  Yes they do have a credible replacement in David Moyes, handpicked by Sir Alex himself, but it remains to be seen how the Red Devils play from here. Of course in all those interactions, I had to put up with a lot of RED faced poking, making a mockery of Liverpool’s current form and I had to endure all that with a straight face. Damn me and my dignity! I also vividly recall the aura that he carried. I remember this one time in the 1969 Suite inside Old Trafford where I was working, suddenly there was a buzz around the place. It was strange because I already saw Christiano Ronaldo, Nemaja Vidic and Ryan Giggs walk into the suite a while back and it was all normal. But this time there was a lot of buzz and this time it was Sir Alex himself. In a flash, the whole place transformed into some sort of a hypnotized magic hut. Everyone, including the players themselves was looking at him and only at him as he moved from table to table greeting the members. That aura is carried only by one other sporting icon that I know;  a little man who got the most British of all crowds in Brighton buzzing when he walked in during a tour match, a certain Sachin Tendulkar. Very few personalities justify this increasingly over used term, but from the next season “Football will never be the same again”.

This season significantly closes the chapter of the end of a beautiful era in EPL. With only the likes of Gerrard, Lampard, Terry, Cole & Ferdinand left, let’s hope that the Suarezs, the Carricks, the Matas, the Hazards, the Wilsheres, the Bales and the Walcotts will step up and become the next set of greats to have played the beautiful game. There certainly is talent but it also needs careful nurturing. This is where I hope the Rodgers’, the Villas-Boas’, the Martinez’, the Ladrup’s and the Mourinho’s will step it up.


Niranjan K

Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from ODI’s did not come as a surprise to me. After all, he has not been an active ODI player for quite some time now. But when I sit down and think about what we he achieved, my eyes fill with tears of pride. He has so made the format his own that now it’s possible to think if ODI’s itself is going to retire with him.

In a country that is obsessed with statistics more than performance, results more than playing a good game and individual performances celebrated above the team, he gave us reasons to do both.Talk about numbers while still amazed by the beauty of his batting, celebrate a victory while watching him talk about respecting his opponents and most of all, celebrate a Tendulkar century along with an Indian win. We explored the statistics to understand his genius. We read articles to understand his brilliance. In short, Sachin Tendulkar made an average Indian fan, better.

It is a monstrous task to compile ten of his best from a collection of over 18000 runs and 49 centuries over 400 matches. I am sure a lot of you would disagree with my list, thinking how did I miss this, how can I miss that types. The list that I have put down here are the ones that simply sprout out of my mind when I saw the news of his retirement from ODI’s. No research and no thinking over. The Sachin Tendulkar fan in me came up with it. I had combined a few performances in one, in a logical way to make room for others. It’s Sachin, how can I not?

10. He blasted 41 runs off 26 balls against Pakistan in the 3rd finals of Coca-Cola Silver Jubilee Independence Cup, a rollicking start (the score was 71 in 8.1 overs when he got out) that ensured India would chase down Pakistan’s 314 in near darknesss. Saurav Ganguly with 124, Robin Singh with 82 and Kanithkar’s invaluable 11 not out gave India the win with a ball to spare.

In action in the 3rd finals at Dhaka. © AFP

9. He was playing all sorts of role in the team when one day Sidhu woke up with a stiff neck in New Zealand and Azharuddin walked up to him and asked if he could open the batting. That offer changed the face of ODI’s forever. He blasted 82 off 49 against New Zealand and a superstar was born.

Cricket woke up to its greatest ODI batsman at Eden Park. © AFP

8. The great man has just lost his father and had to fly midway during the ’99 World Cup to perform the last duties. Most thought that his tournament was over, but the master came back and how! It may be against Kenya but his 140 not out in the match after his father’s passing was as important as any of his other. It showed how much he cared for his country. And he looked up at the skies as he got to a hundred, a sight that was to become commonplace on his getting to that landmark thereafter.

Looks up to the skies after an emotional hundred © AFP

7. He was in indifferent form going into the final of the CB series in 2008 against Australia. But he took the grand finale by a calculated storm that did not decimate the Aussies, but rather destroyed them steadily. The Aussies might have had a stronger chance of getting him out if he was in marauding form. But instead, he chose to play the Anchorman, piling on runs at a fair clip and guiding an inexperienced batting to the finish. Both the century in the first final and the 91 in the second was a master-class.

His first and only ODI hundred in Australia set-up a series win. © Getty Images

6. It may be India’s most embarrassing defeats, a forfeit, but still it was characterized as before and after Sachin. He made 65 out of the 125-8 that India managed in the world cup semifinal in ’96 before the hostile crowd at Eden Gardens stopped the match. It seems like the pitch had two layers, one for Sachin and the other for the rest of the batsmen. Such was the gulf in class.

India’s fortunes soared and sunk with Tendulkar in the ’96 world cup. Scenes at Eden Gardens as India sunk after a Tendulkar 65. © Santabanta

5. For all the great batting performances of the little genius, there is one over that showed how cool his temperament really is. That final over in the hero cup semifinal when he successfully defended 6 runs against SA is one of my earliest images of him, one that made me a worshipper of him. How can a top order batsman bowl a nerve wracking final over and win the match for India from a seemingly hopeless situation. I was very young and believed only god can do miracles. I wasn’t wrong.

When he defended 6 runs against a rampaging Brian MacMillan in the Hero Cup semi-finals. © AFP

4. It was a princess that waited for the right prince to come and conquer her. Saeed Anwar and Charles Coventry came within sniffing distance of her. Sehwag was thought to be the man to marry it. But eventually, ODI’s first double century was captured by the king of them all against an attack that had Steyn, Morkel and Ntini, a handful on any track. It was an innings of textbook perfection and clinical precision. Sehwag eventually bettered it. But this is first love. Need I say more?

Incredibly, Tendulkar even became ODI’s first double hundred scorer. © GETTY IMAGES

3. This happened a few weeks before the 200. But fans were transported to decade before when Sachin single handedly won matches for India. Set a demanding 350 to win, he scored exactly half the runs and when he got out, so did India, just like the old times. But that 175 was so breathtaking that even left the Aussies dazzled.

Tendulkar had Australia at his mercy for much of his career. His 175 at Hyderabad was among his best knocks. © AFP

2. Perhaps no other team challenged Australia like how Saurav’s boys did in the last decade and perhaps no other player dominated them like how Sachin did in the decade before that. The 2 sandstorms that decimated Aussies in Sharjah ’98 is part of cricketing folklore now. You may find this an exaggeration but to me, those 2 innings made him a legend of ODI’s.

Without doubt his highest point as a batsman came on 22nd and 24th April 1998 with those innings for the ages at Sharjah against Australia. © AFP

1. For all the centuries and a double century, this is the innings that still gives me the goose bumps when I think about it. How did he do all that? Playing Pakistan in pressure, more so if it’s in a World cup, and even more if playing for the first time in years. This was no stage for mortals or good players. The stage was set for only one man and how well he played. That 98 in the 2003 World cup is my pick for the best innings by Sachin Tendulkar in 23years. One shot stood out. A back foot cover drive off Wasim Akram still leaves me speechless, even after watching it hundreds of times.

His 98 at Centurion versus Pakistan in World Cup 2003. He went on to bag the Player of the Series award. © AFP

He defined the format, pulled the crowds to it and single handedly changed, not just of India’s fortunes, but the future of the game itself. And we all grew up with him. We were school kids when Sachin was decimating attacks in the 90’s singlehandedly, so he was the superstar. When we went to college in the 2000’s a certain Mr. Ganguly so dynamically changed Indian Cricket that Tendulkar went from one and only superstar to the greatest batsman of the golden quartet. As we understood the game better, he became a legend.

Farewell Sachin Tendulkar, albeit from colored clothing. We hope to see plenty of you in the whites, playing that breath taking straight drive, that audacious upper cut, that finest of leg glances or that ever so wonderful back foot cover drive. As a God, please inform the other one that created you that we said Thanks. We can say that we grew up and lived in the same time as the God of Cricket. Who else can?