It was in 1989 when Sachin Tendulkar made his international appearance and since then there has been no looking back for the batting genius. His demeanour, his dedication have complimented his talent and made his success story a legendary one.
As he completes 20 years, CricketNDTV.com presents a compilation of his golden words that are true reflections of his worth-emulating personality.
"I care about playing for India" - Sachin during the presentation ceremony after India lost the 5th ODI despite his 175 against Australia in Hyderabad.
"Nobody is bigger than the game. Cricket teaches you every day. If you start feeling that you are bigger than cricket, sooner comes the fall"
"When I started learning cricket from my coach Ramakant Achrekar, I was told clearly by him that not only I should respect the game, I should worship cricket also and than only cricket will take care of me. I still believe in that."
"Twenty20 is like desserts. It tastes good but you can't fill up your stomach with it. You have to have a main course and that's Test cricket. I couldn't survive without main course."
"What I need to do is to contribute to whatever my team's requirements are. I'm not here to answer what x,y, and z is writing about me or saying about me. People will say lot of things, not necessarily they are always correct. I don't take their opinions seriously."
"People sometimes throw stones and you convert them into milestones" - Taking a dig at his critics, Sachin said.
"I don't think much about records. I want to enjoy my game. If players focus on their performance, records automatically fall into place. I focus on playing the game well"
"I wanted to be as solid as Sunil Gavaskar and as destructive as Vivian Richards, because that combination was always going to be lethal. I felt truly inspired by these two individuals on the field," Tendulkar told a news channel.
"Close to 10 years ago, when (former Zimbabwe batsman) Andy Flower started playing reverse sweep I said that in the next five years this would become a common shot. Now many batsmen play it and in time more innovations will come from batsmen and bowlers."
"I don't personally feel that IPL is dumbing down the game. It's just another version of cricket. Test cricket is there and then they started one-day cricket many years ago and one-day cricket has been a tremendous success and if the game is gonna get globalised in the form of IPL, then why not? It's better for cricket," ," Tendulkar said in defence of the T20 tournament that has been criticised for being too glamorous and money-centric.
"I would continue not to play Twenty20 (international). The team is settled and I don't want to disturb it"
"I used to receive letters written in blood...but not any more. It feels strange when a fan comes and touches your feet and says you are God. I don't feel comfortable with it, but it is the way they feel about you."
"I wouldn't want to think about all those things. I'm a bit superstitious. Let others count the hundreds and let me go and bat," Tendulkar said after hitting 42nd Test hundred.
"I have been through various challenges and ups and downs. It's all circles of life and I want to complete the circle. As long as I'm enjoying and giving my best, I'll continue to play. The day I start feeling otherwise, that will be the time to stop," Sachin on his retirement plans.
"My father was my first Guru and he gave direction to my life. In his most important advice to me, he told me everything in life is temporary. The only lasting thing is the impression you leave on people's mind. He said 'people should remember you as a good human being even after you are through with cricket'"
"I feel like 16. I think it's the good wishes and blessings that count," he said after turning 36 this year.
"There were times when I felt that, yeah, I should bunk practice and spend time with my friends and go out for a movie. But my coach would turn up and make me sit on his bike and take me all the way to practice."