Forty-year-old Tendulkar, statistically the greatest batsman ever, walked into the sunset in November after his 200th test at his home Wankhede Stadium brought the cricket-crazy nation to a standstill.
“My life’s been 22 yards for 24 years. It’s hard to believe that wonderful journey is coming to an end,” an emotional Tendulkar said during a moving farewell speech as most Indians on and off the ground battled to hold back tears.
His phenomenal success on the cricket field and impeccable lifestyle off it made him a perfect role model for India’s burgeoning youth population.
It was hardly a surprise that hours after he quit cricket, the batting great became the first sportsperson to be nominated for India’s highest civilian award, the Bharat Ratna.