A Cricketer as ‘Balm of the Nation’

NEW DELHI — Sachin Tendulkar is a short, stout man with a gentle paunch that is the right of any 37-year-old Indian male. He does not look like a millionaire sportsman, but he is that and much more. He is a genius cricketer, one of the greatest batsmen ever to have played the game.

For several years now, fans and journalists in the country have been calling him God (he has denied that he is).

He is probably the most famous living person in India, where the predominant sport is cricket. His epic career has stretched over more than 20 years, and his reign continues in the World Cup that is under way in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Such a man tells the story of his nation in a profound way that economic indicators and the laments of activists cannot.

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