It’s been a year and four days, but Sachin Tendulkar, the Little Master, has finally done it. He has scored 100 centuries in international cricket, an incredible sporting feat that may never be matched.
In the end, the historic milestone wasn’t reached in his backyard Mumbai. It wasn’t reached at Lord’s, the spiritual home of cricket. It wasn’t reached in the vast cauldron of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, either. It didn’t come against India’s great rival Pakistan, or the English or the Australians, or any other leading cricket-playing nations. It came against Bangladesh, in the Shere Bangla National Stadium, Dhaka.
Sachin Tendulkar on his way to his 100th century against Bangladesh, Thursday.
Tendulkar won’t care a jot about the venue or opposition. Any international century is special, and he’s just scored 100 of them. That’s 29 more centuries than his nearest challenger on the all-time list, Australia’s Ricky Ponting. This latest one is perhaps the sweetest, as it came when Tendulkar was facing an unfamiliar – and unfair — amount of criticism. The pressure was on.
But the pressure valve was emphatically released on Friday, March 16. The date will go down in history. Forget Pranab Mukherjee’s budget speech (if you can bear to), this was Sachin’s day. Millions of cricket fans – who had almost been more desperate for this moment than Tendulkar himself – watched as the Little Master’s score crept above 50, 60, 70, gulp, 80, then the unbelievably nervous 90s. Surely this was his moment. Please let this be his moment.
And it was.