I have always followed ‘cricket’ and ‘news’ but ‘cricket news’ has fascinated me like nothing else.
I was in school when news broke that a young boy was going to be part of the Indian cricket team to tour Pakistan under a new captain — Krishnamachari Srikkant. No one in the world had any doubts about the talented young boy from Mumbai but to throw him in the deep end to face the pace battery of Pakistan, led by Wasim Akram and the spin wizardry of Abdul Qadir, who had earned himself a sobriquet of “Googly” for foxing the batsmen world over, had many questioning the wisdom of his selection.
But Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar — who would prove to be the real baby-faced assassin of all bowling attacks and a nightmare for bowlers of legendary stature like Shane Warne — had other ideas.
It was in November 1989, when Sachin was packing his bags for the Pakistan tour, that my school sports coach was giving batting tips to us ahead of a game against a school rival.
Although I doubt my coach had ever watched Sachin play, he was full of praise for the then 16-year-old. I am sure he must have gone through the interviews and column spaces dedicated to him to find a replacement for the aging middle order of the Indian cricket team in late 1980s. Most of the talking and writing revolved around two young schoolmates from Mumbai who had shared a world record partnership of over 600 runs — Sachin and Vinod Kambli.