There are few sportsmen in the history of sport more popular than India’s legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar – and it was a truly magical moment to see him finally hit his 100th international century
Tendulkar became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries when he reached his hundred against Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in Dhaka. And there was no mistaking his relief at finally reaching his unique milestone as he looked up to the skies.
It has been more than a year since he hit his last ton, against South Africa in Nagpur in a World Cup match – the longest he has had to wait for a century since his first in a Test against England at Old Trafford in August 1990 and his second against Australia 17 months later in January 1992.
The all-time leading scorer in both Tests and ODIs, who failed to register a century on India’s tour of England, in the home series against West Indies and on the tour of Australia, said: “Wherever I went, to restaurants, the house-keeping, the room service, whoever I met just spoke about the 100th hundred. It became a little difficult mentally, because I am not playing only for my 100th hundred. The 99 hundreds that I scored, nobody spoke about them. Everyone had their opinion but eventually I have got to do what is important for the team.”
The great man finally reached his 100th century, his first in ODIs against Bangladesh, off 138 balls. He has now hit 49 ODI centuries and 51 in Tests and went on to make 114 before being dismissed.
International Cricket Council chief executive Haroon Lorgat was quick to pay tribute to Tendulkar when he said: “On behalf of every cricket fan around the globe I congratulate Sachin on becoming the first person to score 100 centuries for his country. This is indeed a magnificent feat and not likely to be easily emulated.
“Fans have admired Sachin for more than 20 years and have recently waited with great expectation for his 100th international century. The number 100 is special for a batsman and to record 100 centuries for your country is a massive statement.
“Like millions of others I have personally followed his career ever since he first played for India as a gifted 16-year-old and now, more than two decades later, his passion and personal records, which include more than 33,000 runs at international level, is a modern day wonder.
“He is a marvel to cricket lovers around the world and with an array of batting records, Sachin is a true role model who will undoubtedly hold a special place in cricket’s history.”