Cricket Exclusive: The Sachin Tendulkar way of respecting elders

Updated: 22 July, 2020 21:56 IST | Clayton Murzello | Mumbai

Batting icon waited for permission from Chandu Sarwate to leave badminton court after his first meeting with the ex-India player

Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his century against Australia at Indore's Nehru Stadium on March 31, 2001. Pic/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar celebrates his century against Australia at Indore's Nehru Stadium on March 31, 2001. Pic/Getty Images

State cricket associations in India seldom do justice to their departed greats. The Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association (MPCA) does not fall in that category. On Wednesday (July 22), MPCA organised a function (aired on Facebook as well) in Indore to mark the birth centenary of former India all-rounder Chandu Sarwate.

Chandu Sarwate poses on the 1946 tour of England. Pic/Getty Images

Sarwate played nine Tests from 1946 to 1951 but is also famous for his 249-run partnership for the 10th wicket with Shute Banerjee in the Indians v Surrey match on the 1946 tour of England. He passed away in Indore on December 2003 at the age of 83. Among the warm tributes paid to Sarwate was a recollection from ex-MP player Suthar Bhagwandas, who, in a video message, recalled how Sarwate requested his friend Balkrishna ‘Bandoo’ Kher to introduce him to Sachin Tendulkar when the batting icon was in Indore for a one-day international against Australia in 2001.

Tendulkar was enjoying a game of badminton at the Nehru Stadium on match eve and was approached by Kher after he was done. There was no need for detailing of Sarwate’s career as Tendulkar knew of his exploits – plenty of runs and wickets on the first-class scene apart from playing for India. After meeting Tendulkar, the delighted Sarwate stayed on court, talking to Kher but was surprised to see Tendulkar not leaving the hall. On enquiring about the reason for staying put, Tendulkar said he was waiting for Sarwate’s approval to leave. Of course, that was granted in a jiffy but the incident brings home the fact that Tendulkar walks the talk when it comes to showing respect to elders/senior cricketers.

Chandu Sarwate, whose birth centenary was celebrated on Wednesday. Pic/AFP

The following day, Tendulkar carved a match-winning hundred for India and became the first man to score 10,000 ODI runs in the course of his innings.

When asked the Mumbai batting great why he wanted Sarwate's permission to leave, Tendulkar said, "That’s what my father and mother expected from me."

Tendulkar's recollection of that meeting was as if it happened yesterday. He also remembered Bhagwandas who, "was always there to help us whenever we were in Indore." The Central India city was no stranger to Tendulkar even in 2001. He stayed at the Nehru Stadium during a junior India camp there in 1986 along with other future India players Vinod Kambli and Sourav Ganguly.

Sanjay Jagdale, the enduring torchbearer of MP cricket apart from being a former national selector and manager of the Indian team, recalled on Wednesday how Kher (a former MP player) hosted a dinner for the then young cricketers along with national coach Vasu Paranjape during that camp. "Bandoo later settled down in America and was so delighted when India chased down a 317-run target to beat England during the 2007 ODI series at The Oval that he telephoned me. I was in the dressing room [as BCCI secretary] and asked Bandoo if he wanted to speak with Sachin [he had scored an 81-ball 94]. He wondered whether Sachin would remember him from that 1986 camp but he did and Sachin happily spoke to Bandoo," revealed Jagdale.

Sarwate (Central Zone) was part of the selection committee which picked the 1983 World Cup-winning squad. Others on the panel were Chandu Borde (chairman, West), Ghulam Ahmed (South), Pankaj Roy (East) and Bishan Singh Bedi (North).

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First Published: 22 July, 2020 21:30 IST

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