It was a poignant moment to see hundreds of teary-eyed spectators, both young and old, cheer the Little Master at the same venue where it all started.
While 40,000 people saw the curtains come down on Sachin Tendulkar’s illustrious career from close quarters, even those who watched the live telecast felt the goose bumps.
“I tried to control my tears for the better part of Sachin’s speech. However, I caved in when he said that at least now his coach (Ramakant Achrekar) can acknowledge that he is a good player,” said 32-year-old Vijay Das, who was watching the match on television.
Among other things, Tendulkar spoke about how his coach would never praise him during the formative years to ensure he remained level-headed.
Moments after Tendulkar concluded his emotional address to the nation, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi described his speech as ‘stirring’, on Twitter.
In the last few days, social networking addicts across the world of business, politics, entertainment and sports have been celebrating the maestro’s 24-year career. “When Sachin walked out on to the field, the line between reality and mythology was blurred forever. The game was bigger and the score was irrelevant,” Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra & Mahindra, posted on Twitter yesterday.
Omar Abdullah, Chief Minister, J&K: Difficult to imagine Indian Cricket without Sachin — the highs, the lows, the celebration & the exasperation that he brought #ThankYouSachin Haven't been a big cricket fan for a while now but to see Sachin retire today brought a lump to my throat, a true gentleman
M.S. Dhoni: Thanks Sachin for being the legend in my life, will always luk up to u and learn.
Wimbledon champion Roger Federer: “What a remarkable career @sachin_rt. Wish you the very best moving forward #ThankYouSachin.
On Facebook, several users posted their pictures with the Master Blaster, ensuring a record number of ‘likes’.
Those who made it to the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday were quick to upload pictures to their accounts. Many who thought Tendulkar had overstayed his welcome by playing on till the age of 40 were also sad to bid adieu. “Criticised You! Many times said "Why Sachin is not retiring??" Today I came to know what it means! Don't go!,” technology professional Tejas Barot said on Twitter. His quote was re-tweeted several times.
However, the Centre’s decision to give Tendulkar India’s highest civilian award — the Bharat Ratna — got mixed reactions from Internet users as another prominent sportsperson Dhyan Chand had also been in the reckoning.
Thus, #Bharatratna was the number one trending topic on Twitter in India, while it figured in the social network’s top 10 list globally. #ThankYouSachin, #SRT200 and #GoodByeSachin were the other top trending topics.
Incidentally, Tendulkar’s last Twitter comment, made on the eve of the India-West Indies series, has created a new record. It has been re-tweeted over 14,000 times while over 9,000 users have set it as their favourite tweet.
He had tweeted, “I am really touched with #ThankYouSachin messages. Your support all these years has inspired me to give my best.’’
While most were soaking in the Sachin fever, many felt that other former cricketers also deserved a fairytale send-off. “At some point, I felt bad for (Rahul) Dravid! He should have received the same farewell at the Bengaluru ground!” twitter user Aditya Garg pointed out.