Mumbai: Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has congratulated Indian cricket on the occasion of the men’s senior team appearing for its 1000th One-day International match in the first game of the three-match ODI series against the West Indies at Ahmedabad on Sunday.
India have played 999 ODIs so far, the most by any team in the world, winning 518 and losing 431 and bagging two World Cup titles — 1983 in England and 2011 at home. India played their first ODI match in 1974 and have in recent times stolen a march over Australia and England, who figured in the first-ever ODI match in 1971. Australia are second with 950 matches.
The Men in Blue are thus set to become the first team to play 1000 ODIs and Tendulkar posted a video on his social media accounts on Friday to congratulate all those who have played a role in Indian cricket achieving this “fantastic” achievement and wishing Rohit Sharma’s team the very best for the 1000th match.
“India cricket team will be playing its 1000th ODI match on Sunday. It’s a fantastic achievement and I would like to congratulate all the past and present Indian cricketers, the BCCI and all the supporters who have stood by us throughout these 47 years of playing ODIs and continue to do so,” Tendulkar said in his video message.
The batting maestro, the most successful batsman in ODI cricket with 18,426 runs in 463 matches, talked about the beauty of One-day cricket calling it a bridge between Test and ODI matches.
“I have always felt that cricket is a beautiful example of life itself. In life, change is the only constant and in cricket too. First, we had Test cricket, then ODIs, and now T20s. ODIS have aspects of both, Tests and T20s. It’s short enough for exciting buildups but also has passages of play where one needs to play with patience and perseverance. It has coincidently become the bridge between Test cricket and T20 cricket,” he said.
Tendulkar also went down memory lane, picking up some magical moments from India’s ODI cricket history singling out three editions that have left an impact on him — the 1983 World Cup that India won under Kapil Dev, the 2003 World Cup in South Africa in which India lost to Australia in the final and of course the 2011 World Cup that India won in Tendulkar’s hometown Mumbai.
“India has many wonderful memories over the years. It starts, for me, it starts from the 1983 World Cup, the 2003 world cup that I was part of in South Africa, fabulous, and the 2011 World Cup which we played in India,” he said.
He said though he was young at the time of the 1983 World Cup, two memories from that will always stay with him.
“To talk about the 1983 World Cup, I was only 10 years old, I didn’t understand much about cricket but two things have stayed with me — the first one was Balwinder Singh Sandhu getting Gordan Greenidge out and the second one, Kapil Dev taking that beautiful running catch.
“So those kinds of things, they stay with you. The 2003 World Cup also, I thought we played some amazing cricket in South Africa. It was a fantastic team effort and a number of individuals put up their hand and we were able to produce some good cricket,” the 48-year-old former India captain said.
He called the 2011 World Cup as the best tournament he played in.
“2011, the best tournament of my life — there were ups and downs even in that World Cup and eventually, we ended up lifting the trophy. Without any doubt, the best cricketing day of my life.
“These kind of memories stay with you forever and ever. I am sure, you too have memories and one can go on and on, keep going back and forth with so many interesting matches being played, but this is a wonderful occasion for all of us,” he said.
He wished the Indian team the very best for the 1000th match on Sunday.
“I wish the Indian cricket team best of luck for the series against West Indies. May Indian cricket continue to go from strength to strength. All the very best guys,” he said in his video message.