The Little Master
After literally thousands of such cricket matches, stretching back thirty-five years, the great Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar
, a.k.a. "The Little Master," has become the first player to score 200 runs in a one-day international match.
The feat is phenomenal in that each side has only 300 balls in which to score its runs, which means that a batsman only has, on average, 150 balls with which to score a double century, an asking rate that was beyond the reach of every international-class batsman until now. That one also has to last the entire length of the innings, an extraordinary feat of physical and mental strength, is a testament to Tendulkar's level of fitness and incredible fortitude.
What makes the achievement even more noteworthy is that Tendulkar, at the age of 36, has played almost 450 of these games over twenty years. They're staged with such frequency, especially in India—the home of world cricket now—that they have, at times, almost emptied themselves of meaning. Yet, somehow Tendulkar manages to retain the appetite for the game that others much younger and with more to prove have lost.
The icing on the cake is that, by all accounts, the kudos couldn't go to a nicer individual: hard-working, a team player, and someone who has accepted the extraordinary fame and attention given to him by cricket-mad Indians with grace and humility. Sometimes, it seems, the good guys do get the praise they deserve.