Variety

The Tendulkar package!

Piyush Pandey | Updated on March 23, 2011

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There can't be a bigger ambassador than Sachin Tendulkar for the game of cricket. It is possible that future generations of cricketers will break his records. But to break the incredible ‘package' would be difficult.

When I say package, I mean the whole fact that he is a stable human being, a wonderful family man, a role model beyond his cricketing abilities, upright, non-controversial. All this makes him an ambassador for anything in the world, not just cricket.

India's cricket, as always, had its stars and we have had our performers. We had a Kapil Dev generation, and then we had players like Mohamed Azharuddin and others who kept the Indian flag flying high. There was no real gap in India's cricketing ability in that sense, but Sachin came and raised the game to another level. He made the world take notice of India. It is our good fortune to have him.

Personally, I know him very well. I have known him since he was fresh to the game, still in his teens. The first time I met him was when he was doing an ad for Johnson & Johnson's Band Aid. We keep meeting occasionally, and now mostly on account of Mumbai Indians, a team we are closely involved with.

I am asked if the Sachin Tendulkar we see and read about is the real Sachin Tendulkar the person. Knowing him for so long, I see him as a stable, self-confident human being. He is always understated — never the one to talk big.

I don't think there are two Sachin Tendulkars. There is only one, and what you see is what you get.

(The author is Executive Chairman and Creative Director, Ogilvy & Mather South Asia, and winner of the AAAI Lifetime Achievement Award 2010.)

As told to Gokul Krishnamurthy.

Published on March 23, 2011

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