2: Grew his hair and tied a band around it to copy idol John McEnroe. Was even called ‘McEnroe’ by his friends. Admires Boris Becker,Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Diego Maradona.
3: Wanted to be a fast bowler and even went to the MRF Pace Academy but head coach Dennis Lillee asked him to concentrate on batting.
4: Has scored big runs on Indian festivals like Gokulashtmi, Raksha Bandhan, Holi and Diwali
5: Loved to have ‘I-can-eat-more-vada-pavs-than-you’ competitions with cricket buddies Vinod Kambli and Salil Ankola
6: Loves sea food. Owned a restaurant.
7: Loves playing at Sydney Cricket Ground.
8: Loves Kishore Kumar and rock group Dire Straits. Was extremely possessive about his personal stereo.
9: A devout worshipper of Lord Ganesha, he often visits Siddhivinayak temple in the early hours of the morning.
10: Wears his left pad first. Has the Tri-colour pasted inside his kit bag.
11: Remembers every dismissal and even the bowler who dismissed him.
12: Likes to dunk his glucose biscuits into his tea and have them with a spoon.
13: He is ambidextrous. Bats with his right hand but autographs and eats with his left.
14: Used to sleep with his cricket gear on during his junior days.
15: Refused to shoot for a soft-drink ad that showed him smashing cricket balls with a fly swatter. He reportedly told film-maker Prahlad Kakkar, “That would make me greater than the game.” The ad was modified: he hit the balls with a stump.
16: Loves to zoom across Mumbai in his swanky cars in the wee hours.
17: Fell from a tree one Sunday evening during his summer vacations, when the movie ‘Guide’ was showing on national TV. It infuriated brother (and mentor) Ajit, who packed him off to cricket coaching class as a punishment!
18: Came back from the four-month tour of Australia after the 1992 World Cup and turned up to play for Kirti College in April 1992.
19: Was without a bat contract during the 1996 World Cup in which he emerged highest run-getter. A famous tyre company promptly signed him on soon after.
20: His coach at Shardashram, Ramakant Achrekar, used to offer a one rupee coin as prize to any bowler who dismissed him. If he remained not out, the coin belonged to Sachin. Still has a good bunch of those coins.
21: Fielded for Pakistan as a substitute during a one-day practice match against India at the Brabourne in 1988.
22: Was a ball boy during the 1987 World Cup match between India and Zimbabwe at Wankhede.
23: The first ad he shot was for sticking plaster.
24: In school, he was once mistaken for a girl by good friend Atul Ranade because of his long curls
25: After watching Deewar and Zanjeer, he became a fan of Amitabh Bachchan
26: Played tennis-ball cricket and darts during rainbreaks
27: Sang and whistled with Vinod Kambli during their 664-run record stand in the Harris Shield in 1988 to avoid eye contact with the coach’s assistant, who wanted to declare while the duo wanted to bat on.
28: Teammate Praveen Amre bought him his first pair of international quality cricket shoes.
29: Was a bully at school but was kind to cats and dogs. His first captain, Sunil Harshe, said that he loved to pick a fight. Every time he was introduced to someone, his first reaction was, ‘Will I be able to beat him?’
30: Used to go fishing for tadpoles and guppy fishes in the stream that ran through the compound of Sahitya Sahwas, his apartment in Bandra East.
31: Once made his mother look for a frog bhaji recipe.
32: The nanny who looked after him is now universally called Sachuchi bai
33: Colony watchman’s son Ramesh Pardhe, who was his playmate, said Sachin would ask him to dip a rubber ball in water and hurl it at him. He wanted to see the wet marks left on the bat to find out whether he had middled the ball correctly
34: An incorrigble prankster, he once put a hose pipe in Sourav Ganguly‘s room and turned on the tap. Ganguly awoke to find his gear floating. Calls Ganguly ‘Babu Moshai’. Sourav calls him ‘Chhota Babu’.
35: Great spinner of yarns. If he had a cut on his finger it was because it had been chopped by a helicopter flying low!
36: Sachin Tendulkar’s debut Test also was legendary allrounder Kapil Dev’s 100th.
37: Sachin faced his first ball in Tests from legendary Pak pacer Waqar Younis, who was also making his debut.
38: Sachin scored the first-ever double hundred in ODIs on February 24, 2010, 22 years to the day that Kambli and Sachin had put on 664.
39: He equalled Sunil Gavaskar’s record of 34 Test hundreds and went past the record on the same date, December 10. His 34th ton came against Bangladesh in Dhaka on 2004 and the 35th was against Sri Lanka at the Kotla in 2005.
40: During an under-15 tour in Indore, he couldn’t sleep and woke up in the middle of the night to shadow practise. As the flooring was wood-based, the noise that emanated from the bat hitting the flooring disturbed the other tenants. As the hotel manager went to complain to coach Vasu Paranjpe, he was ticked off by the coach and told to ‘Go and bowl to him’.