Wasim, Waqar salute ‘special’ Tendulkar

By AFP
Published: December 24, 2012

Tendulkar announced his retirement from one-day internationals on Sunday after scoring 18,426 runs in 463 matches. PHOTO: AFP

KARACHI: Famed Pakistan pace duo Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis Monday paid rich tribute to Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, labelling him “the greatest batsman of this era”.

Tendulkar, 39, announced his retirement from one-day internationals on Sunday after scoring 18,426 runs in 463 matches with 49 centuries – all three world records for most runs, matches and hundreds.

“I don’t say that a batsman like him will not come but he was the greatest batsman of this era and to maintain the zeal and fitness for 23 years was a big achievement for him,” said Waqar, who retired in 2004.

“I also feel proud that I played against him and found him a great player and a nice gentleman.”

Wasim said Tendulkar’s records spoke volumes about his achievements.

“It will be tough to match them in the years to come,” Wasim told AFP. “He was a special talent and a very special cricketer.”

Tendulkar made his Test debut against India’s arch-rivals Pakistan in Karachi in 1989 and Wasim recalled mocking the young batsman with his bowling partner.

“Sachin was really 16 at the time when he came to Pakistan in 1989 and Waqar and I thought, ‘What will this 16-year-old do against us?’” he said.

“I hit him on the mouth but he showed a lot of gumption and courage to score a fifty in the fourth Test in Sialkot and after that innings we realised that he is a special talent.”

As the leading batsman for cricket-mad India, Tendulkar carried the weight of a nation’s expectations on his shoulders, but Wasim said he handled the burden well.

“Sachin always played under a lot of pressure from the billions of Indian fans and the kind of consistency he showed proved that he handled those pressures and huge expectations admirably well,” said Wasim.

Reader Comments (3)

  • GrimmJow
    Dec 24, 2012 - 6:43PM
  • Student
    Dec 25, 2012 - 2:26PM

    No doubt he is a legend. My little words cant define him. Just want to say BOY you are superb

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  • Adil
    Dec 25, 2012 - 2:49PM

    I remember watching that 1989 match, where Waqar and Waseem were almost laughing while getting ready to bowl to a 16 year old kid. Of course, they were almost at their peak in fast bowling, and then Waseem hit the young Tendular in the face. He wasn’t wearing a helmet, which would be a health and safety issue nowadays, esp for a youngster. Luckily Tendulkar wasn’t injured seriously and played on.
    All three will be considered legends in their field. Pity there won’t be anyone of that class in the current India v Pakistan matches, starting today. It seems like a dream watching Imran, Waqar, Waseem, Miandad and Tendulkar, Azharudin, Kepil Dev, Shastri and suchlike all playing in the same match! I don’t think we’ll ever see such legends on the same ground again – ever. Shame the PTV pictures from those days weren’t exactly Sky HD, or we could still marvel at their skills in full glory. Like the hazy recollection in our minds, the pictures and commentary are from another age. Father Time forgives no one. Tick, tick, tick. Just like Misbah’s batting!

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