Sachin Tendulkar, a legendary former Indian cricketer, will be featured in an ESPN documentary airing tonight at 8 p.m., EST. Here’s what you need to know about Tendulkar:
1. He’s Been Called the ‘Greatest Cricketer in History’
Brian Lara, a cricketer from the West Indies who is also considered one of the game’s greats, told the BBC that Tendulkar is the best, though the two have similar records:
“Tendulkar has had the greatest cricket career of anyone who has ever played the game.”
According to the BBC, Tendulkar is the highest scoring player in international cricket, with 15,921 runs in Tests, as well as 18,426 runs in One-Day Internationals.
Tendulkar is the the only player to score more than 30,000 runs in international cricket when adding the runs from all forms, as ESPN reported.
2. He’s India’s Wealthiest Cricketer
In 2013, Tendulkar’s net worth was listed at $160 million, making him India’s wealthiest cricket player, with a personal fortune that exceeds the combined wealth of the next four wealthiest Indian cricketers. Tendulkar’s net worth was three times more than number two on the list, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who was worth $50 million.
At the time, Tendulkar was the 51st richest athlete in the world.
A large portion of his wealth has come from sponsorships, and Tendulkar has had many. Over the course of his career, he was sponsored by Coca Cola, Pepsi, Toshiba, Canon, Palmolive, VISA and many other brands.
Since retiring, his net worth appears to have dropped somewhat, to $110,00, perhaps owing to the loss of a few corporate sponsorships.
3. He’s a Member of the Indian Parliament
After taking steps toward retirement in 2012, Tendulkar accepted a nomination to the Rajya Sabha, India’s upper house of Parliament, taking the oath of office in May, making him the first active cricket player to serve in the nation’s legislature.
He later turned down the government-appointed apartment in New Delhi calling it a waste of taxpayer money:
“It would be better if the bungalow is allotted to someone else who needs it more than me.”
4. His Wife is a Doctor
Tendulkar married Anjal Mehta in 1995, at the age of 22.
Mehta is a pediatrician and the daughter of Indian industrialist Anand Mehta, a seven-time national bridge champion, and British social worker Annabel Mehta.
Anjali told the Economic Times that she did not recognize the famous cricketer when they first met in 1990:
“I first met him at the Mumbai airport when he returned from his first tour of England in 1990, after scoring his maiden Test ton. In fact, when I first saw him at the airport, I didn’t even know who he was. It was purely by accident.”
The couple has two children, Sara, 17, and Arjun, 14. Arjun, a left handed batsman, was selected for the Mumbai under-14 league in 2013.
5. He’s A Devotee of Sai Baba
Tendulkar is an active and outspoken follower of Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian guru and spiritual leader who passed away in 2011.
Other followers of Sai Baba include many other notable professionals, among them sports, film, music and political noteworthies.
Sai Baba was a noted philanthropist, and Tendulkar, too, has been known to donate money for good causes. Every year, Tendulkar sponsors 200 children through an organization called Apnalaya.
Tendulkar took to Twitter in 2010 to request money for a cancer charity. The response was $160,000 for his Crusade against Cancer foundation.