In 1987, Sachin Tendulkar was a 14-year-old trying to establish himself in domestic cricket, with the name ‘Wonder Kid’ already coined for him. Despite his performances with the bat, Tendulkar was disappointed at not being awarded the Best Junior Cricketer award by BCA. However, a letter from the legendary Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar turned his gloomy afternoon into a joyful one.
Gavaskar’s letter congratulated Tendulkar on his impressive performance in the previous season, particularly highlighting his ability to perform well even when the others around him were not contributing much. Gavaskar also advised Tendulkar to not neglect his studies, as education would help him through bad patches in whichever career he chose. The letter concluded with Gavaskar telling Tendulkar not to be disappointed at not receiving the award.
Here’s the content from Sunil Gavaskar’s letter to Sachin Tendulkar from 1987
I wanted to write earlier but something or the other came in the way. Then I thought it better to write at the beginning of the new season rather than at the end of the last season.
Congratulations on your performance last season. What was most impressive was the way you batted alone when the others around you were not contributing much. Keep it up.
Also please do not neglect your studies. My experience is that education helps you through bad patches in whichever career you choose.
So go ahead and God bless.
PS: Don’t be disappointed at not getting the Best Junior Cricketer award from BCA. If you look at the past award winners, you will find one name missing and that person has not done badly in Test cricket!!
In 2009, at a function organised to felicitate Gavaskar and Gundappa Vishwanath for turning 60, Tendulkar spoke about the impact of Gavaskar’s letter. He recalled how the hand-written letter from someone he worshipped helped him get over the disappointment of not winning the award. Tendulkar also mentioned how Gavaskar had called him to wish him after he scored his 34th Test ton, and had advised him to carry on after he scored his 35th ton.