A mason's magical memory of the Mumbai Maestro

He has not quite mastered the skill of construction but a 32-year-old mason from a hamlet in Sikhar district of Rajasthan seems to be a ‘PhD’ in the country’s most loved subject -- Sachin Tendulkar -- having memorised each and every Test innings and ODI centuries of the retiring icon.

Ajeet Singh Tanwar, a one-of-a-kind Tendulkar fan, who remembers how many runs the retiring cricketer has scored, where and in which match over his past 198 Tests, besides storing in his ‘memory card’ the details of the 49 hundreds the veteran had smashed in his 463 ODI appearances. “You ask me and I will tell you how much he has scored in all the Test matches he has played or when he scored his 10th or 23rd ODI century,” said Tanwar, who has been closely following the cricketer’s feats since the age of 16.

Asked when did the most complete batsman of modern era score his fourth ODI century and the answer from his fan was 112 against Sri Lanka at Sharjah in 1995. A quick glance check and surely enough he was right.

And when did he post his 17th ODI ton, pat came the reply: 128, against Sri Lanka, in Colombo, 1998. Tanwar also said he remembers Tendulkar’s scores in all the World Cup matches. 35 was the answer, when a scribe asked about Tendulkar’s score in his maiden World Cup game in 1992. 

Coming back to Test cricket, there is not a single Tendulkar knock he doesn’t remember. For the record, Tanwar has a contract with a television channel which, he says, he is not entitled to breach. “I met him (Tendulkar) at the Palam ground (in Delhi) last Ranji season and he signed on two books of mine and gave me his photo with an autograph on it,” he recalled.

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