Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar on Friday resorted to Facebook to finish his much-anticipated maiden speech as a parliamentarian after his first attempt was thwarted by chaotic scenes in the upper house.
The “little master”, widely revered as one of the greatest batsmen of all time, rose to his feet Thursday in India’s parliament to give his inaugural address since being awarded an honorary seat in 2012.
But the 44-year-old’s god-like status in India meant little in the chamber, where he was drowned out by feuding politicians who forced parliament to adjourn just as Tendulkar was finding his stride.
“Sachin out for duck in Rajya Sabha,” ran a headline in The Hindu newspaper on Friday, using the Hindi name for India’s upper house.
The cricket icon Friday finished his speech through his Facebook page, which is followed by roughly 28 million fans.
Tendulkar made reference to the false start before picking up where he left off, imploring Indians to take up a sport to improve their health.
“Being a sportsman, I will talk about health, sports and fitness of India, for it has a telling impact on our economy,” he said.
Tendulkar’s decision to accept the nomination for the upper house seat — one of 12 reserved for Indians with distinguished records — caused some surprise, and his patchy attendance has been criticised.
The highest run-scorer of all time in both Test matches and one-day internationals, Tendulkar retired after playing in 200 Tests, in which he scored 15,921 runs.