Sachin Tendulkar’s international journey of 24 years will terminate at the Wankhede stadium next month. But in Haryana on Wednesday his national journey of 25 years came to an end perhaps not unexpectedly with him guiding Mumbai to victory.
It all started at the Wankhede stadium on December 10 1988 when he made his Ranji Trophy debut against Gujarat aged 15 years, seven months and 17 days. He marked it with an unbeaten 100 off 129 balls becoming the youngest player to get a century in the national championship.
It might have been a flash in the pan for someone else but not for Tendulkar who went on to register six more half centuries in the remaining matches.
Mumbai lost to Delhi in the semifinal but by then he had run up a tally of 583 runs at an average of 64.77 and by now every cricket fan knew that he was destined for greatness.
They had of course already been aware of his penchant for record breaking feats thanks in the main to the 664-run partnership with school chum Vinod Kambli in 1987.
In Image: Sachin Tendulkar walks through a guard of honour during Ranji Trophy match between Mumbai vs Haryana in Rohtak