Tendulkar exits ODIs, but his fan to bat on
Tatke, who works with the Daate Mandap and Company as an account keeper, has his own take on Sachin's retirement. "He was going through a bad patch," he says, but adds soon: "He could have continued till the next World Cup... I remember when I first saw him play Pakistan, all the newspapers were heaping praises on him and had christened him as the next big thing then. I believed it... There was something about the manner in which he played. A fast bowler would come sprinting in bowling one on his pads and he would manage to drive it through the off side leaving everyone clueless as to how he did it."
Tatke has since collected every possible news article and picture that he has been able to source. Till date, he says, he has collected over 2,500 photographs. "As far as news articles go, I have lost count. But all his major milestones, be it becoming the first person to score 200, 100 centuries and the highest run scorer, or winning the 2011 World Cup and making other records, amount to over 500 news articles."
While he works in his office at Narayan Peth in the day, he spends his evenings working on his collection. "Take, for instance, the time when he was finally a member of the World Cup winning squad. A dream that he had nurtured over five world cups. Every newspaper had a different story to tell. About his struggles, trials, tribulations and the final ultimate prize. These made for fascinating reads. The thing about him is that he is so big, and so well known that virtually everyone across the world has an opinion on him and there are rarely any day when one doesn't get to hear or read about him in the newspapers," says Tatke.
Tatke has passed on his infectious enthusiasm to his daughter Pooja too. A second year BCom student at SP College, she has been assisting her father and building up her own collection too. "I love keeping records. Be it the number of games played, runs scored or wickets taken, they all make for a lot of useful information. With the Internet also proving to be a vast treasure trove of these statistics, I love collating information related to him (Sachin)."
Tatke's 20 years' endeavour bore fruit in May this year when Tendulkar was in the city for the IPL match against Pune. "He signed one of his photographs for me. Though I couldn't get a chance to show him anything (from his collection) as it was too crowded."
Tatke says Sachin might have quit ODIs but he hasn't quit Test cricket.
"They will always write about him, talk about him or tell stories about him. And I will be collecting them all. I hope I can take these articles and photos to him on his birthday next year, and tell him how they inspired people like me in our own ways to do something about it," he says.
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