Nation e-Edition

How I helped Sachin!

How I helped Sachin! Little master Sachin TenduLkar got advice on his debut from Barbadian international umpire John Holder. (FP)

Wed, November 20, 2013 - 12:03 AM

Former International Umpire, Barbadian John Holder has revealed that he gave Sachin Tendulkar advice on how to bat while he officiated during his first Test match against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989.

Holder, who was a standing umpire when the 16-year-old made his debut, said Tendulkar looked “scratchy” in his first Test innings.

“He was clearly nervous. The pitch was prepared for three fast bowlers [Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Imran Khan]. When they [India] fielded, he stood next to me at square-leg and I said to him: Sachin when you are playing at this level now you need to learn to be a bit more patient. If you want to be successful at this level, it will cause for you to be very selective. The bowlers here are much better so just take your time.”

Holder made the revelation while a guest on leading cricket programme United Insurance’s Line & Length, which aired Saturday night on SPORTSMAX.

In that match Tendulkar only made 15 and he was hit on the mouth by Younis who was also on debut, but continued to bat in a blood-soaked shirt.

Holder also told hosts Barry Wilkinson and Andrew Sealy that he was the umpire at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, when Tendulkar made his first Test century.

“It was now a year later, sometime in August and he seemed more prepared to stay at the crease. He looked so graceful. He had lots more character. He was under tremendous pressure from early because of all the runs he scored as a schoolboy and in first class cricket.

“So when he went to play at the highest level the expectations were great. I am so impressed by the way he responded. Not only the way he conducts himself on the field, but off of it as well, he is a true gentleman,” said Holder.

Holder also said that his umpiring colleague was John Hampshire who was also his partner when Tendulkar made his Test debut.

The 68-year-old Holder, who hails from Superlative in St George, but has resided in Britain for decades, said that he “selectively coached” players as an umpire, but always chose who to speak with.

Tendulkar officially played his last and 200th Test match on Saturday when the West Indies were beaten by an innings and 126 runs.

In 2000 he became the first batsman to score 50 international hundreds, in 2008 he passed Brian Lara as the leading Test run-scorer, and in the years after, he went past 15 000 Test runs and 30 000 international runs, and 50 Test hundreds.

A repeat of the episode was aired Sunday on CBC TV Channel 8 at 7:35 p.m. and a repeat will be shown tomorrow night. (MK)

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