‘Is he human?’ British papers unite in praising Sachin

October 18th, 2008 - 8:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Sachin TendulkarLondon, Oct 18 (IANS) They may squabble over politics, but British newspapers sank their well-known political differences to heap praise on the genius of Sachin Tendulkar Saturday, with one former captain wondering: “Is he human?”"The archives recall not one single incriminating incident, not one drunken escapade, not one reported affair, not one spat with a team-mate or reporter,” wrote former skipper Michael Atherton in the Times, considered a pro-Establishment paper.

“As [political commentator] Mathew Parris wondered of [US presidential candidate] Barack Obama in these pages recently, is he human?”

The pro-Labour Guardian newspaper carried an editorial article which said: “Tendulkar’s greatness has been much foretold, not least by those whose standing in the game he now challenges.

“[West Indian batsman Brian] Lara said of him: ‘You know genius when you see it. And let me tell you Sachin is pure genius.’ Cricket’s greatest ever batsman Sir Donald Bradman had the same reaction.”

The Guardian’s veteran cricket writer Mike Selvey said Sachin’s feat in becoming the highest run scorer in cricket “serves to restart the debate over which of the record-holders should be regarded as the greatest of modern batsmen,” naming Viv Richards, Alan Border, Sunil Gavaskar, Brian Lara and Sachin.

“Coming up strongly, and almost certain to set new standards both in terms of runs and centuries, is Ricky Ponting who may render the argument superfluous,” Selvey said.

Former England Test player Peter Pringle wrote in the pro-Conservative Daily Telegraph: “Supreme greatness has been predicted ever since he made 326 not out in a school match, and yesterday, on the first day of India’s second Test against Australia in Mohali, that karma came to pass.”

Echoing Atherton’s comments, Pringle said: “…While occasionally lured into indiscretions outside off-stump, he has never been lured into any outside the laws. Nothing has stained Tendulkar’s saintliness over his 20-year career. Indeed, he appears to have no unnatural appetites, save for scoring runs and Formula One.

“Plenty are born with talent but few are as driven to express it in full and he is as much a product of the nets as blessed genes.”

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