There is hardly a name bigger and mightier than the one of the Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar in the cricketing sphere. The enormous legacy began on this day in 1989 as the 16-year made his Test debut in Pakistan. Born in Mumbai on 24th April 1973 to a Maharashtrian family, Tendulkar showed interest in the sport of cricket at an age of merely four. Naughty and playful by nature, the “little master” was known for his mischiefs as a child.
Taking inspiration from India’s World Cup triumph under the leadership of Kapil Dev, Tendulkar developed a keener interest in the sport. To help curb his brother’s mischievous side and give him a direction, Ajit took the 10-year-old talent to Ramakant Achrekar- a club player turned renowned cricket coach. Impressed by his potential, Achrekar advised Ajit to shift his brother’s schooling from the Indian Education Society’s New English School in Bandra to Sharadashram Vidyamandir High School in Dadar, due to the latter’s notable cricket team.
Tendulkar, a high-spirited and laborious student from the onset, started his toil under the supervision and guidance of coach Achrekar and he would practice at the Shivaji Park in the mornings and evenings. In no time, the tender-aged batsman made a reputation for himself as a prodigy and became the talk of the town. Besides playing for his school, Tendulkar played club cricket and went on to play for the Cricket Club of India, and at the age of 14, he reached the MRF Pace Foundation to train as a fast bowler. However, the legendary Australian pacer Dennis Lille suggested that Tendulkar should focus on his batting.
Taking incredible jumps in domestic cricket
The teenager showed that he was a cut from a different cloth in the Lord Harris Shield match between Shardashram Vidyamandir and St Xaviers. It was this match that witnessed young Sachin and Vinod Kambli pile a mammoth 664-run stand, and at the time of declaration, the skipper Tendulkar stood unbeaten 326, whereas his partner and childhood friend Kambli was unbeaten on 349.
Such incredible exploits in school cricket led him to play for Mumbai in Ranji Trophy for the 1987-88 season, and he was officially selected on November 14, 1987. Although Tendulkar did not feature in any of the matches, he was often seen as a substitute fielder. Finally, the maestro played his first match for Mumbai against Gujarat at his home ground on December 11, 1988. At that time, he was only 15 years and 232 days old.
In his debut first-class match, Tendulkar scored an unbeaten innings of 100 and he became the youngest Indian batsman to have scored a century in his first-class debut. Following this with centuries in his first Irani and Duleep Trophies, the Little Master became the first and the only player to score a century on debut in all three of his domestic first-class tournaments (the Ranji, Irani, and Duleep Trophies).
Despite only a single Ranji season under his belt, the selectors were interested in selecting Tendulkar for India’s tour of the West Indies in 1988. Although, given the deadly and dominant fast bowling of the Caribbean bowlers at that time, he was not given an opportunity by the selectors. Tendulkar finally played his first tour with the Indian team to Pakistan in 1989 in Karachi, when he was only 16 years and 223 days old, and the rest is history!