New Delhi, Mar 17: Australian spin legend Shane Warne pleaded for an end to the talk of Sachin Tendulkar's retirement as he joined the international chorus of appreciation for the iconic Indian cricketer who scripted history by completing a century of international tons.
Apart from his close friend Warne, cricket legends such as Sir Vivian Richards, former Australian captain Ian Chappell, Ian Botham, Rahul Dravid, Keven Pietersen and Tony Greig were among those who paid glowing tributes to the champion batsman.
“Congrats to Sachin on reaching his 100th international 100- just awesome buddy Please press no retirement Q'S and let Sachin enjoy the moment,” Warne tweeted after Tendulkar reached the milestone against Bangladesh in an Asia Cup match in Mirpur yesterday.
The 114-run knock ended a year-long wait for the 38-year-old star batsman, whose 99th ton came during a World Cup match against South Africa in March 2011.
Tributes continued to pour in for the veteran from other parts of the world as well with former England captain Tony Greig calling him a fine ambassador of the game.
“Just woke up to the wonderful news that Sachin has made that century. Great player and wonderful ambassador for our great game,” he said.
“Well played Sachin the little master...!!!” added legendary all-rounder Ian Botham.
England batsman Kevin Pietersen, who is in Sri Lanka for a series, said the effort was way beyond imagination. “Seriously has anyone actually thought about what Sachin has done here?? 100 100's!!!! Absolutely unbelievable.. Batters dream!” he said.
Tendulkar's former teammate and the recently-retired Rahul Dravid marvelled at his genius.
“What stands out in an exceptional career of unbelievable achievements is Sachin Tendulkar's ability to change, adapt and mould his batting according to the conditions around him. What makes him a phenomenal player is that he has done so many things, be it scoring the highest number of Test and one-day runs or scoring a century of international centuries,” he said.
“What he has done is set a benchmark for future generations which, probably, would be almost impossible for anyone to emulate. He has created a new milestone, which to my mind, is like Don Bradman's average of 99.94, the most memorable feat that any cricketer has achieved.
“Like overtaking Bradman's average appears almost impossible today, Sachin's century feat too will in all probability stay forever,” he added.
Similar words of appreciation came from former Australian captain Ian Chappell.
“The skill, the tenacity and the competitive urge still flows freely through the veins of Tendulkar. He seemed destined to conquer the batting Mount Everest from the moment it was said about him as a yoage of 17, Tendulkar scored his first Test century at Old Trafford,” he said.
“The fact that Tendulkar has handled fame so well and maintained an attacking outlook throughout is a tribute to not only his skill but also his wonderfully alert mind.
“Considering the length of his career and the fact that he was able to renew his attacking desires, I would now rate Tendulkar slightly ahead of Brian Lara and comfortably in front of a fading Ricky Ponting.”
West Indies legend Viv Richards described Tendulkar as a “genius” when it comes to ability and a “Trojan” when it came to work ethics.
“I believe Sir Donald Bradman is the greatest of them all, but seeing Tendulkar bat, I can say that when he is in top flight, in a variety of conditions, I have seen the best.
“He has been a genius when it comes to ability, a Trojan when it comes to work ethic and manic when it comes to his focus.Yet we often miss the little things that make him both human and exceptional”, Richards said.
“As a sportsman, I know how damaging an injury can be. For a batsman, an elbow injury and corrective surgery could be akin to a professional death knell. But the way Sachin overcame those setbacks and played at the highest level with unmatched distinction is special”, he said. Richards felt Tendulkar has earned the right to decide when to hang his boots.
“Friday's century was a testimony to Sachin Tendulkar's self belief and his unwavering focus. Many of his contemporaries who were spoken of in the same breath did not have the hunger and focus, which is why Sachin stands alone at the summit.
“And let it not be forgotten that he is no dour batsman, he still plays thrilling shots and has entertained more fans than any batsman has in the history of the game. All this with humility, bearing the burden of his team's batting and the expectations of his millions of fans,” he said.
“I think Sachin has earned the right to decide when exactly he wants to put down his bat. He is mature and sensible individual and more importantly a very proud cricketer. He is not going to continue if he feels he is not performing up to his standards,” he added.
Veteran Indian tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi also took to Twitter to appreciate Tendulkar's feat.
“...I guess chant today goes Sacccchiiiinnnn, Sachhhhhhiiiinnn.. Hmmm I have been chanting that for twenty years.”