Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar at the prize distribution ceremony of Pinstrike National Corporate Bowling Tournament 2018, near Hyderabad, April 19. (Press Trust of India)
It was the summer of 1984 when a decision by Professor Ramesh Tendulkar—to let his youngest child, Sachin, switch schools, changed the boy’s life.
The anecdote finds a mention in a new book, “Winning Like Sachin: Think & Succeed Like Tendulkar,” authored by Devendra Prabhudesai.
Sachin was just 11 when his elder brother Ajit took him to coach Ramakant Achrekar, who was of the view that young boy had it in him to go a long way in the sport and it was therefore prudent that he be given access to competitive cricket.
The issue was that Bandra IES, the English-medium school in Mumbai where Sachin studied, did not have a cricket team. Achrekar recommended that Sachin be shifted to Shardashram Vidyamandir, whose English-and Marathi-medium cricket teams were coached by him, the book says.
Sachin’s residence at Sahitya Sahawas in Bandra was a fair distance away from Shardashram in Dadar. There was no bus that plied between the two locations directly, which meant that Sachin would have to change buses on the way, that too early in the morning, as the school started at 7 am.
Boys of his age were generally inducted into inter-school cricket team when they were studying in 7thor 8thgrade. Sachin, on the other hand, was to begin 6thgrade, it says, adding the commute to and from Shardashram would eat into his leisure and study time.
“Professor Tendulkar could have taken the easy way out and ‘played safe.’ He could very well have told his son to play cricket during the holidays and concentrate on studies for the rest of the year. He could have put his foot down on the idea of changing schools. But he did not. He and the rest of the family left the final decision to Sachin himself,” says the book.
“They assured him that they would back him, regardless of the decision he made.
“Little did they know that that was the moment when the boy’s life changed and when the history of Indian cricket took an unexpected turn. The youngest member of their family, whom they all doted on, informed them that he was ready for the change, and the challenge,” it adds.
Sachin had found his calling and had decided to let his love for cricket, which had grown into a passion under the tutelage of Achrekar, override every other aspect of his life.
Published by Rupa Publications, the book offers insights into the winning attributes and lessons from the cricketing icon’s life.