Whenever Sachin Tendulkar stepped onto the field, his name echoed across the globe. The thousands in the crowd chanted his name, and the entire country would come to a standstill. Such was the might of ‘The Master Blaster’, and all he ever needed was a bat in his hand to do so. For more than two decades, he remained the backbone of the Indian cricket team and the face and pride of cricket in India. The extent of his popularity is not just restricted to India and other cricketing nations. He is a globally recognised sports icon who is known for his unbreakable batting records and his humble personality. A gentleman on and off the field, Sachin Tendulkar rescued the Indian team from inevitable defeat on numerous occasions and collected a multitude of awards for his contributions towards Indian cricket. Amongst all his glory and accomplishments, his biggest individual achievement remains ‘Bharat Ratna’, India’s highest civilian honour which he received on 4th February 2014.
In 1994, he received the 'Arjuna Award' for his achievements in cricket. At only 21 years of age, he was the youngest recipient at the time for this honour. Three years later, the Indian government once again recognised Tendulkar’s excellence in sports by honouring him with ‘Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna’, which is also the country’s highest sporting honour any Indian athlete could achieve. On the backdrop of 1999’s ICC Cricket World Cup, the ‘Little Master’ was presented the fourth highest civilian award – ‘Padma Shri’. In the coming years, Tendulkar’s award cabinet got further decorated with ‘Maharashtra Bhushan Award’ in 2001, which is also the state’s highest civilian award, and ‘Padma Vibhushan’ in 2008, the second-highest civilian award in the country. The right-handed batting genius was also voted as India’s greatest sportsman in a poll conducted by the popular news network ‘Zee News’ back in 2003. He has also been voted as ‘Sports Person of the Year’ and ‘Sporting Icon’ by various media outlets and magazines. However, amidst all the records that he broke, all the milestones he created and all the accolades and glory he achieved, the eureka moment of his career came at the Wankhede stadium on 2nd April 2011 when Indian team lifted the World Cup after 28 years. The batting legend retired from all forms of international cricket in 2013 when he played his last Test against the West Indies at his home ground. At 46 years of age, Tendulkar is happily enjoying the second innings of his life with his family.