Vijay Dahiya, who played 2 Tests and 19 ODIs for India in the year 2000, revealed how even cricketers who were much older in age to Tendulkar, used to idolize the teenage prodigy and dreamt of one day becoming like him.
“No brainer, to be very honest. When I was growing up, anyone my age or even older people – the one and only Sachin Tendulkar. What’s interesting is that the same age, people who were older also had somebody’s poster who was 16-17 on the wall and wanted to be like him,” Vijay Dahiya told Sportskeeda.
‘Playing with Sachin Tendulkar a bigger prize than playing for India’- Vijay Dahiya on Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar made his debut as a 16-year-old prodigy against Pakistan at the age of 16. By the time Tendulkar crossed 21, he already had Test hundreds in England, Australia, and South Africa. During the course of the 1990s, the teenage sensation went on to impinge himself as one of the modern-day greats. Even though the Indian team was not as strong as it is today, Tendulkar spearheaded the fledgling ship, battling the best of bowling attacks with disdain and was one the single source of a billion Indian fans.
Tendulkar, courtesy his performances and his work ethics, inspired a whole host of Indians to take up this beautiful game and dream of possibly one day representing the country. And, it is precisely for this reason that Vijay Dhaiya considers played alongside such an icon of the game as a bigger prize than representing India.
“It is phenomenal what he’s done for Indian cricket, how many people he has inspired and is still inspiring. If you played this game, you know the era in which he played. The sort of team we had and the sort of teams others were. And his numbers were phenomenal, and his style also,” Vijay Dahiya stated,
Playing for the country was a big prize, playing with Sachin Tendulkar was even bigger,” he added.
Sachin Tendulkar retired from the game back in November 2013 after etching his name in the uppermost echelon of the cricketing folklore.