The child prodigy
At school Sachin was regarded as a child prodigy and was a common point of discussion in the cricketing circles of Mumbai. He was a constant feature for his school team in the well known Matunga Gujarati Seva Mandal Shield. Along with school cricket, Sachin made his mark in club cricket as well with appearances at the prestigious Kanga League. His first club was the John Bright Cricket Club and then he switched to the Cricket Club of India (CCI).
Sachin attended the MRF Pace Foundation in Madras at the age of 14 so that he could train and become a fast bowler. However, Dennis Lillee who was heading the proceedings was not impressed at the least by the young kid and asked him to focus on his batting instead. It was during this time that Sachin was not able to win the Best Junior Cricketer Award of the Mumbai Cricket Association and was distraught but he received a pair of ultra light pads from a certain Mr. Sunil Gavaskar who wrote to him as well and said that he himself had not been able to win it as well as that age. In an effort to gee up the young talent he also stated that he had not done too badly as a cricketer himself. Sachin stated after he had eclipsed Gavaskars record of 34 test centuries that it had acted as possibly the greatest encouragement for him at that point in time.