#CultHeroes – Sachin Tendulkar

Former Yorkshire and India batsman Sachin Tendulkar is the focus of our second Cult Hero feature.

Get involved in the Cult Hero debate on Twitter, telling @CountyChamp what your favourite Tendulkar moment is using the #CultHeroes hashtag. 

Sachin Tendulkar is widely recognised as one of the greatest batsman in cricket folklore, holding most of cricket’s batting records including most runs in Tests and one-day internationals, as well as hitting the most centuries in bothh formats.

But his aforementioned achievements in the sport at internatioanl level have overshadowed his time at one of cricket’s most storied and historic clubs.

In 1992, Tendulkar became Yorkshire’s first overseas player after they abolished the rule of only those born within the county boundary being eligible to play for the club.

The ‘Little Master’ made his presence felt on and off the field and despite the county finishing the season in 16th place in the Championship, he showcased his ability, scoring 1,070 runs from 16 first-class matches.

A teenage Sachin Tendulkar is unveiled as Yorkshire's first overseas player in 1992

One of his stand out performances during that season was his 69-ball quick-fire hundred against Lancashire at Headingley.

Current England women Head Coach Mark Robinson was a member of that Yorkshire side and despite seeing the obvious signs of greatness, his humble nature off the field was one of fondest memories he had of the batsman.

“I can just remember how lovely he was, what a genuine lovely person he was, that was the biggest impression,” Robinson told ecb.co.uk.

“The fact that he invited us all to his wedding at the end of the year and only one of us went. We all probably regretted that!

“But he was so talented with the bat. For somebody who was destined to be great at that point, he was so humble and he just wanted to fit in.”

Those heartfelt impressions about the baby-faced 19-year-old may not have become a reality had Australian seamer Craig McDermott not got injured prior to the 1992 campaign.

“First of all, I was pleased for myself because it was meant to be Craig McDermott (current bowling coach for the Australian team) and that would have been terrible for me because I wouldn’t have played!

“Obviously Craig got injured so Sachin came in and it was an historical thing because he was first overseas player, the first Asian player, particularly during a time when Yorkshire was billed as place that didn’t engage with the Asian community so it was a brilliant bridge builder.

Tendulkar (centre) celebrates with his Yorkshire team-mates, including Mark Robinson, who is stood behind the Little Master

“You heard of his reputation before he came in (having made his international Test debut at the age of 16) and you never know what you’re getting.

“He had such a network of people, he was well known in the Asian community but we knew we had someone great in the dressing room.”

Tendulkar would eventually go on to become “the greatest batsman of his generation” and with countless epithets associated with the batsman, one moment sticks with Robinson which he felt epitomized the Indian.

“The best memory of Sachin happened a few years ago, when I was second-team coach at Sussex before I took over,” he said.

“I was working with Pete (Moores) and the Indians were over and I had to find out if they needed any more net bowlers. I’m not sure if it had been 10 years after I last saw him and he came out of his way to recognise me, come over and speak to me, and I was so touched and this was when he was mega great.

“It was the fact that he still remembered me from his time at Yorkshire and I found that really touching, and again it showed how humble he was.

“I was just an average player at Yorkshire at the time, trying to just stay in the team and he went out of his way to come and do that, everyone talks about the good player he is on the field but for that to be matched off it was special.”

Source: ECB

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