Book review; Hero: A biography of Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar
“We can imagine cricket without Sachin Tendulkar, but we cannot imagine Sachin Tendulakr without cricket.”
From Sunil Gavaskar to Sachin Tendulkar to Rahul Dravid, India has produced a great range of cricketers over the years and decades. Authored by Davendra Prabhudesai, who has worked across sectors and handled a diverse range of responsibilities from working with the police department to executing some of the biggest cricketing events organised in India in recent times, the book is an autobiography of MASTER BLASTER of cricket world, Sachin Tendulkar.
It shares the story of an extraordinary cricketer and the first sportsman to be conferred the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour. This book showcases the evolution of an incredibly talented teenager from a middle class household of Mumbai into a world champion and a legend.
Starting off with his childhood days as a mohalla level cricketer, the books states the reader through the pulls and pressures and the moments of ecstasy and agony that one of the greatest sportsmen of all time experienced and surmounted in the course of glorious career.
The book takes oft repeated adage; Cricket is a religion in India, very seriously. It goes on to divide Sachin Tendulakar’s remarkable life into three sections and details his growth from a prodigy to preceptor.
In the first few chapters, the writer talks about Sachin’s early life and how he excelled in his career. Many middle class cricketers of the time had to contend with parental opposition to virtually every form of sporting activity.
The children were, constantly reminded that to secure their future, it was paramount to utilize their brains which was suppose to be their only inheritance to excel in academics. When there was no way sport was to be allowed to supersede studies, Sachin enjoyed all the advantages of being the youngest in the family and more. However, his parents and siblings ensured that while they did not deny him anything that he wanted.
Sachin took interest in sports since childhood. Author writes Sachin was assertive, aggressive, and street smart, as younger siblings tend to be. If his gang had a new entrant, Sachin would test him by determining how he could hit the others.
He was born left handed and wrote with his left, but he took to batting with a right-handers grip. Even at a young age, he had a mind of his own even though he imitated his elder siblings, but not blindly.
While Tendulkar remains the principle subject, the book has interesting snippets about his seniors, role models, colleagues, protégés and adversaries and goes on to detail the hero’s impact on his profession and the nation.
Replete with blow by blow accounts of his greatest performances and interspersed with exclusive photos and quotes, Hero is a veritable history of Indian cricket in the 1990s and the new millennium – an age of transition, trauma, and eventually, triumph.
This book has a collection of some great snaps of the cricket icon. Nostalgic. It takes us back to the era when Sachin played tournaments as a teenage prodigy, with his teammates in an inter school game in mid 1980s. It’s interesting for readers to see him changed from a lean and thin batsman player into a master blaster Sachin of today’s era.
Author further describes the challenges in his career, the Dark Age. During the outbreak of what was called ‘Hansiegate’. The Union Home Minister requested the CBI to probe the entire gambit of matching and betting case. In which Sachin was alleged to know everything about the match fixing by former Pakistan captain Rashid Latif claimed. Denying the entire false allegations how Sachin moved forward to the heights giving glory and fame to India is really awesome. He is considered a jewel of India and has emerged as an international cricketer of the year.
Tendulkar was the first active international sportsperson to be a parliamentarian. He had the opportunities to do well his duties for the betterment of human lives. All in all, this book is a must read for all cricket lovers and more importantly Sachin’s lovers to know him from close.
To quote what his better half said on his last day as an international cricketer, “We can imagine cricket without Sachin Tendulkar, but we cannot imagine Sachin Tendulkar without cricket.”