Championing India

Aijaz Rahi / AP

Tendulkar celebrates after his 100th 100-run innings in last year's Asia Cup cricket match against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

The greatest Indian to wield a cricket bat, and one of the sport's greatest-ever players, has announced that he will soon retire — throwing the subcontinent into a paroxysm. Television channels are obsessed with the man TIME dubbed the God of Cricket — Zeus in the pantheon of cricketing divinity; newspaper editorials, watercooler conversations and social media speak of little else. A nation of 1.2 billion people is riveted by the impending departure of a diminutive (just 165 cm) giant, Sachin Tendulkar, even though, at 40, he is well past the normal retirement age for athletes. Tendulkar's talent coupled...

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