New Delhi: He has faced the deadliest of fast bowlers in world cricket. On Monday morning, it was baptism of fire of a 'different' kind for Sachin Tendulkar. Attending the first day of a rather stormy Monsoon Session in Rajya Sabha, the Little Master quite enjoyed life on a new pitch.
Tendulkar was sworn in on June 4 last year. Like several of his cricket records, he had set another 'first' by becoming India's first active sportsperson to be sworn in as a Member of Parliament.
Of the 250 members in the Rajya Sabha, a dozen are nominated by the President for "special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service." The world's highest Test run scorer was nominated to the Rajya Sabha along with film personality Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga.
Tendulkar kind of 'enacted' his cricketing drills in the Upper House too. Like the Men in Blue, he was wearing blue striped shirt (and black trousers) and much like his dedication during net practice or before a game, he arrived with minister of state for parliamentary affairs Rajeev Shukla, much before the House was called to order.
His wife, Anjali, was in the visitors' gallery, a position she is very well used to.
Having batted for India against the quickest bowlers in the world, Tendulkar, sitting beside noted lyricist Javed Akhtar, got a 'feel' of a new turf when the House was adjourned for 10 minutes following disruptions. This gave the proud owner of 15837 Test runs the time to exchange pleasantries with colleagues.
Forty-year-old Tendulkar also walked up to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and shook hands. Earlier, Tendulkar thumped the desk when chairman of the House Hamid Ansari congratulated the Indian cricket team for winning the Champions Trophy in the UK in August.
When he was sworn in last year, Tendulkar had said: "In the last 22 years of my international career, cricket has given me so much. Today, with the nomination, I am in a better position not only to help cricket but also other sports," he said.
With the Board of Control in Cricket in India in turmoil due to various reasons, it will be worth seeing what role Tendulkar plays as an elite Rajya Sabha member.