England batting legend Geoff Boycott decided to wish Sachin Tendulkar on his 40th birthday through a note which he sent to this correspondent.
Yorkshire based Boycott (72) has long been a fan of Tendulkar’s batting apart from being an admirer of Sourav Ganguly, who he called Prince of Kolkata during his commentary stints. During the India vs England series last year, he said during ESPNCricinfo’s Bowl at Boycs show, “love him to bits. He’s been fantastic, and he’s a Yorkshireman. Adopted, of course.”
The former England captain is eternally proud that Tendulkar became the first overseas player to play for Yorkshire — in 1992.
Here’s the full text of the letter:
To Sachin Tendulkar on your 40th Birthday
Have a lovely day and remember Jack Hobbs of Surrey and England made 100 first-class centuries after his 40th birthday — his total was 197 first-class centuries. He had a fabulous technique — batted on uncovered pitches — was the best batsman on all types of pitches — wet-dry-grassy-bouncy — he was believed to be better than Bradman when the pitches were difficult.
Bradman was the outstanding batsman on good dry pitches. I believe you are the nearest I have ever seen in my 50 years of playing and commentating to Jack Hobbs. In your career you have shown a remarkable ability to bat superbly in all types of conditions. That will be your legacy — great technique — mental toughness and an iron will to go with a very strong determined character.
Enjoy the next years. You have given so much pleasure to so many people so make sure you enjoy what remains of your batting. My warmest wishes — life begins at 40. I played Test match cricket until I was 41 and a half.
— Geoff Boycott