Master-blaster remembers an ODI that helped define the white-ball game

Sachin Tendulkar has admitted that his desire to play cricket was sparked by India’s World Cup victory in 1983. Yet few people realize Sachin gives credit to another ODI that had a lasting impact on Indian cricket. In the 40 years since Indian cricket played its first ODI in 1974, and today, the team is well-known for its strength in the 50-over format, with the 2011 World Cup being the pinnacle, the highest in Tendulkar’s cricketing career.

MUMBAI, INDIA – APRIL 02: Sachin Tendulkar of India is chaired around the field by team mates as they celebrate victory after the 2011 ICC World Cup Final between India and Sri Lanka at Wankhede Stadium on April 2, 2011 in Mumbai, India. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Although April 2, 2011, was a day of euphoria, Tendulkar believes the one match played in 1997 was instrumental in the change in Indian cricket during the tri-series with South Africa and New Zealand. In the final match of the league, India faced Zimbabwe under Tendulkar’s guidance. Recalling the 1997 Zimbabwe series, the former India batter felt it deserved mention because Zimbabwe was far stronger and tougher then. At the time of the 1983 World Cup in England, Tendulkar was 10 years old. Despite amassing numerous records as a batsman, including the top run-scorer in Tests and ODIs and 100 international centuries, Tendulkar’s big dream was to win the World Cup.

“I saw the World Championship of Cricket final which was held in Australia. But the 1983 World Cup final turned out to be the turning point in my life. I can proudly say that it has motivated me a lot. There was a time when cricket was played for entertainment but I played the game with an aim. When you are a part of the World Cup victory, nothing matches that achievement. Those were the best days in my whole cricketing career” stated Tendulkar.