Terrific day today. I went down to Cambridge, Fenners to be precise, to see the university host a Lashings World XI side. Some bloke called Sachin Tendulkar was batting, and what a joy it was to see him “live,” so to speak. I’ve only seen him bat in the flesh once or twice, and never in a charity match. I’ve also long wanted to see Lashings, the side fit to bursting with former international players, and on the basis of today it’s a rollicking good day out.
Sachin was quite magnificent. Yes it was against students, on a good track, but he nevertheless batted so correctly, with so much time too. It’s no wonder he is adored by millions in India (and by any cricket fan around the world). His balance is just perfect – he is never wrong-footed or beaten in the flight. While Lara has more shots, and a greater audacity to his strokeplay, Sachin is ridiculously correct and manicured. Like a privet hedge. Each flick raced away for four. He cut with monstrous power. And he’s so small too. It’s just not normal, and it was a bloody honour to watch him bat in a charity game in which there was no pressure whatsoever. He batted as though he was 16 again.
One shot in particular, off a medium-pacer, had the crowd gasping in delight and horror. The slips had been taken out, so it was pretty safe, and the third-man was slightly wide. What did he do? Just chipped it / edged it past the wicketkeeper, past third-man for four. Third-man only had a few yards to move to his left, and he had no chance. He eventually fell for 155 from (I’m guessing) no more than 120 balls.
Madness. Greg Blewett played well too, and I’m still amazed he faded into oblivion. Wonderful batsman. So here are some photos below. More at Cricinfo, and a brief colour piece.