The Coin Collection:
Despite all his awards and recognitions, Sachin’s most valuable possessions are the coins he earned from his childhood mentor, Mr. Ramakant Achrekar. As the story goes, Achrekar would put a coin on the top of Sachin’s stumps during the net sessions, and any bowler that managed to get the young protege out would get the coin. As you can guess, the bowlers were unsuccessful on most days, and Sachin collected 13 such coins.
In 1990, when Sachin met his future wife Anjali as a 17-year-old at the airport, he was clean bowled. So when they wanted to meet afterward, the venue had to be a private location because of the young legend’s growing stature. So, Sachin’s home was decided as the meeting place for the two. When they finally did meet, Anjali had to pose as a journalist who had come to interview Sachin.
Debut for Pakistan:
Before actually making his much-celebrated debut for the Indian national team aged only 16 against Pakistan. Sachin stepped onto the international arena for the first time when the Pakistan team needed a substitute fielder in an exhibition match as an over-enthusiastic 13-year-old and ended up fielding for Imran Khan’s team for over 25 minutes.
In India’s 2007-08 tour to Australia, Sachin had an allergic reaction to a lotion he bought at the airport. He was then advised to avoid sunlight as much as possible and hence started the big floppy hat instead of the regular Indian test team cap, which he used to wear till this point.
10 kgs in 20 days:
After returning from his honeymoon in 1995, Sachin had put on a lot of extra unwanted kilos. Determined to lose all that weight as soon as possible, Sachin set out on an intense regime. For the next 20 days, he only ate boiled chickpea and drank orange & lime juice or sugarless tea. The days were filled with countless hours of running or gymming, followed by a couple of hours of Table Tennis in the evening. And finally, the mission was accomplished.
Evading the public / Master of disguise
To avoid the mob that surrounds a celebrity of his stature, he once wore a wig and a fake beard to the cinema. Years later, when he had to visit a doctor to check up on a slight niggle he felt, he wore a burkha to the doctors’ to avoid speculations about his fitness.
Match winning final over:
While his batting exploits are well known and revered, his bowling accomplishments, not so much. In a semi-final contest against South Africa, India was defending a modest total of 195. The match went down to the wire, and Sachin volunteered to bowl the final over with six runs to defend; he ended up bowling a brilliant over. Even more impressive was that he told the wicketkeeper to stand a bit further back, pre-empting an inside edge. And well, he was right, and his brilliant cricketing genius saved the match for India.
Waking up in the middle of a surgery:
Sachin had played the whole 2003 World Cup with a damaged index finger and travelled to the United States to have it operated on after the event. He requested his physicians not to split his palm during surgery because he was concerned about the impact on his batting. He was so worried that he awoke in the middle of the surgery, even though anaesthetics had been administered, and demanded the physicians to show him his hand!
First Batsman to be given out by the third umpire:
One of the lesser-known facts about the GOAT is that he is also the first international batsman to be given out by a television review by the third umpire. The incident took place on India’s tour of South Africa in 1992 when Jonty Rhodes ran the master out on a score of 11.