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When Virat Kohli gave Tendulkar his late father’s sacred thread

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Virat Kohli honoured Sachin Tendulkar by giving him his late father’s sacred thread as the Little Master’s playing career came to an end.

Tendulkar, who first played for India in 1989, played in the same World Cup-winning side as Kohli in 2011 and the pair were in the same XI when Tendulkar finished his international career. The leading run-scorer in international cricket, Tendulkar signed off in Mumbai against the West Indies in a Test match in 2013.

Kohli would go on to show his respect for the Master Blaster by handing him one of his late father’s possessions. Kohli’s father Prem passed away in December 2006, when the cricketer was 18 years old.

Speaking on In Depth with Graham Bensinger, Tendulkar recalled the emotional moment between him and Kohli as the veteran’s international career came to an end. “I was sitting in one corner alone, with a towel on my head, wiping tears, and I was really emotional.

“And at that time, Virat had come to me and Virat gave me the sacred thread that his father had given him. I kept that for a while and then returned that to him again, and said, ‘This is priceless, this has to stay with you and no one else. This is your property and you should have it till your last breath’. And I gave it back to him, so that was an emotional moment.”

“Imagine for 25 years there’s one name that’s been constant in the Indian cricket team and now he’s not going to be there,” Kohli had previously told Bensinger. “We felt like how a child feels when they’re scared or they’re by themselves at night, you know, walking home and feel that sort of that hollow and that, you know, emptiness around you. All of us felt like that.

“We usually wear threads around our wrists in India, a lot of people do. So my father gave one to me, which he used to have. So I used to keep that with me in my bag, and then I thought, ‘This is the most valuable thing I have. my father gave this to me, and I think, I couldn’t give you [Tendulkar] anything more valuable, and I just want you to know how much you’ve inspired me and what you mean to all of us, and this is my little gift to you’.”

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