Somewhere between “Sachin ne kitne banaye” and your retirement speech, we all grew up. Your speech today was as good as the desert storm in Sharjah.
Your first match as an opener against NZ, Your 100 in Perth in 1992, your final over in Hero Cup, Your masterclass in 1996 WC, you getting out in the semifinal against SriLanka, Your 169 against SA in Centurion, Desert Storm and Tormenting Olonga in Sharjah in 1998, The total destruction of Warne & Company in 1998, The effect your father’s death had on the nation during 1999 WC, Your 140 against Kenya when you returned, 136 against Pakistan in Chennai when you played with sore back, That pull off Caddick and 98 against Pakistan in 2003, Country’s emotions when McGrath got the better of you in the final, Your gritty 241 against Australia in Sydney where you did not play a single cover drive, Your 200 against SA in ODI, Your determination to win the WC 2011, The victory lap in Wankhede, Your final innings yesterday, the square cuts, the cover drives standing on your toes, the pulls and hooks, the flicks, the paddle sweep and that god of a straight drive are itched in my mind forever.
We had our Dravids & Gangulys and we will have our Kohlis, but nobody made the little boy inside me dance like you did. You were much more than a great batsman to Indian cricket.
All good things in life must come to an end but the cricket romantic in me just wants to sing “Abhi na jao chod ke, ki dil abhi bazar nahi”
I will tell my children I have watched the god bat!! Adios.