RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
Sachin - Cricketer of the Century
Sachin - Cricketer of the Century
Vimal Kumar

Published by:
Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
11, Community Centre
Panchsheel Park
New Delhi - 110017

Pages: 277

Price: Rs.299/-

Vimal Kumar says this book does something that's never been done before--it lets us see Sachin Tendulkar's career through the eyes of the legends of the game, in the words of his mates and rivals. He says his unique record gives us the opportunity to write something new about a legendary cricketer.

Sachin is just phenomenal, according to Vivian Richards, while contributing Foreword in the book, namely, Sachin - Cricketer of the Century. "He is one individual I have admired for years. Though Bradman is much revered in the modern cricketing world, I have never seen him bat. I have, however, seen Sachin batting, which is for me the best thing in batsmanship - he is simply magnificent.

"When people ask about me, and Sachin says he wants aggression like mine (along with Sunny's solidness), it is very pleasing -- I am over the moon. It is the greatest compliment for me that such a figure, one so humble, says that he wants to bat like me! I would return the compliment and say Sachin is a class act. I am very glad that Sachin is now part of a World Cup-winning team. Put the crown over his head, man, he is the king of a batsmanship."

Courtney Walsh says he "wouldn't call him the greatest per se but, yes, Sachin is definitely one of the greatest. With his never-say-die attitude, he is one of the most magnificent players I have played with and against."

Sachin Tendulkar, according to Navjot Singh Sidhu, is not a player but an institution, like Shaheed Bhagat Singh, like Jawaharlal Nehru and like Amitabh Bachchan. Five hundred years from now, people will talk about him, such is his monumental achievement.

As regards The Hundredth 100, Vimal says "a nation waited for more than a year, players criss-cossed continents and yet one subject and one subject alone remained the talk of the cricketing world. Or so it seemed during every game India played after Sachin's ninety-ninth century. At times, one felt it was almost cruel the way the man who was often dubbed as the incarnation of God while batting appeared all too human. So much so that Sachin Tendulkar reckoned this 100 to be the toughest of them all.

However, 16 March 2012 will remain one of the most memorable days of Tendulkar's career. Of course, the opposition (Bangladesh), the ground (the Sher-e-Bangla Cricket Stadium in Mirpur) and the tournament (Asia Cup) and his own 100-incidentally, the slowest of his career in ODIs - may not have befitted what will surely be considered one of the most iconic landmarks in cricket."

According to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Indian captain, "a hundred international 100s is a big milestone--it is something people will always talk about. But, for Sachin, winning matches has always been more important than personal milestones. Of course it was a big day in Dhaka during the Asia Cup, but it was inevitable. It's a pleasure and honour to write about this century for this book. Sachin can still go on for years-his two-hundredth Tet match appearance will be another milestone.

I am still in awe of him. His aura will never diminish regardless of whether he is playing or not. Cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar happen once in a hundred years. He has been the most celebrated personaity in the subcontinent. The only person who comes close is Amitabh Bachchan. Every individual should learn from Sachin-he is perfect gentleman. He has helped us in our grooming both on and off the field, and we all are thankful to him."

Dhoni revealed that when he first met Sachin more than ten years ago, he could not speak to him but ended up serving the veteran player drinks on the field.

Amitabh Bachchan believes players should be allowed to continue for as long as they wish. "It should be a player's personal decision when to quit. I am getting roles since I have the desire to act. I have an ambition to fulfil. As long as people keep coming to watch my films I will continue. Similarly, if Sachin keeps getting 100s, why should people talk about his retirement? I have a huge admiration for what he has achieved for the nation, and, as long as he feels he is fit, he should continue to entertain us on the field."

Well-designed and attractively produced, the book is worth acquiring.