Sachin Tendulkar creates history with 100th century

With his 100th century, Sachin Tendulkar not just created history with the new record, but also took away all the limelight from the union budget and Pranab Mukherjee

Mirpur, Bangladesh: Iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Friday scripted history by becoming the first cricketer in the world to score 100 international centuries, a phenomenal feat which may remain unconquered for years to come, reports PTI.

Tendulkar, who already has a pile of runs and records to his credit, achieved the incredible milestone when he turned spinner Shakib-ul Hasan towards fine-leg in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh here.

The star batsman first looked heavenwards and then acknowledged the cheers of his teammates and the crowd by lifting his bat.

It was the end of a long wait for the 38-year-old veteran, who had gone 33 innings and a year without a century. The right-hander made his 99th international ton in a World Cup match against South Africa in Nagpur on March 12.

Since then it had been an agonising wait for the maestro, whose every inning was watched with anticipation. He came close on quite a few occasion only to miss the milestone so much so that it became a huge monkey on his back and an unwanted distraction during every series that India played.

He was woefully out of form during India's Test and ODI whitewash at the hands of England last year and though he recovered quite a bit in the later series, the hundred was still not coming.

He carried the weight of expectation to what turned out to be a horror tour of Australia. Tendulkar seemed to be in good touch during the Tests but his form waned after he missed the 100th hundred despite coming close a few times.

Following this, he made himself available for the ODI tri-series against Sri Lanka and Australia but there too, the milestone proved elusive.

But the wait finally ended in familiar sub-continental environs.

With an over two decade long career, records are fairly routine for Tendulkar but for the cricketing fraternity every run he scores just adds to the legend that the diminutive right-hander has become.

The champion batsman has perhaps every batting record that is there to be taken under his belt and adding to the countless tally is the historic hundred he scored against England in the post-lunch session.

Much before his debut on November 15, 1989, Tendulkar's precocious talent was there to be seen when he shared an unbeaten 664-run stand with buddy Vinod Kambli in the Lord Harris Shield Inter-School Game in 1988.

The 1989 international debut was far less spectacular, in fact forgettable. A Waqar Younis bouncer left him with a bleeding nose but Tendulkar did not wince and the next two decades saw him punishing bowlers all over the world on all kind of surfaces.

His first Test century came in England next year at Old Trafford and the Mumbaikar rose in stature after the 1991-92 tour of Australia, hitting sublime centuries on a Sydney turner and a Perth minefield.

The rest is history. No existing batting record seemed safe. Other than Brian Lara's Test match highest of 400 not out and first class highest score of 501 not out, every batting record became Tendulkar's.

A staggering 15470 runs scored in 188 Tests at a robust average of 55.44 confirmed Tendulkar's greatness in the longer version of the game.

And in the 462 ODIs he played, a whopping 18,260 (before the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh) were added to his mountain of runs at an average of 44.64.

Tendulkar is also the only batsman in the world who has scored a double ton in ODIs, a feat he achieved in Gwalior against South Africa in February. This feat was included in 'Times' magazine's top 10 sports moments of the year.

A perfect teamman, Tendulkar has limited his Twenty20 ambition to the Indian Premier League where he leads Mumbai Indians, ruling himself out of national reckoning lest it upsets the existing equilibrium of the side.

The biggest compliment to his batting came from Sir Donald Bradman himself in 1999 when he said that Tendulkar's style of playing resembled his style. "That touch I used to feel when I batted," he had said.

Tendulkar's colossal batting exploits have completely overshadowed his utility as a part-time bowler who reveled in breakthroughs.

He was a complete enigma with the ball, sending down military medium pace, orthodox leg-break and off-spin with the guiles that often caught batsmen off their guard.

His 45 Test wickets and 154 scalps in ODIs underline the fact that Tendulkar could have also staked claim to be that elusive all-rounder that India has been desperately looking for since the legendary Kapil Dev. But shoulder problems have not allowed him to bowl as much as he and the team would have liked.

In the field, he is among the safest pair of hands in the slip and his flat throw releasing strong arm saw him manning the deep with equal aplomb. He has taken 113 catches in Test cricket and 140 in the ODIs.

The aura only grew in strength because of his impeccable demeanour, on and off the field.

His father's death had a deep impact on him and Tendulkar still looks heavenwards whenever he crosses a milestone to seek his blessing.

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Govt aims to raise Rs40,000 crore through spectrum auction

The government also aims to raise funds in form of license fee from telecom operators, receipts on account of spectrum, usage charges

New Delhi: The Indian government on Friday said it aims to raise Rs40,000 crore through auction of spectrum, including the airwaves to be freed by cancellation of 122 licenses as per the Supreme Court order, reports PTI.

In total, the government is targeting a revenue of Rs58,217 crore in 2012-13 through the auction and various other fees and charges in the communication space.

"...Rs 40,000 crore (of non tax revenue) is estimated to be from telecom spectrum auction," as per the Union Budget proposals presented by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in Parliament today.

The Budget has proposed to raise a total non-tax revenue of Rs58,217 crore in 2012-13 from 'other communication services', as against just Rs16,550.83 crore.

These would also include receipts from spectrum held in excess of 6.2 MHz and receipts from auction of spectrum available with government, including spectrum to be vacated by 122 licenses, in view of the order of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court, in its order on 2nd February, had quashed 122 2G mobile phone licences given in 2008 under the then telecom minister A Raja terming them illegal.

The apex court had also asked the government to conduct fresh auctions within four months of the order.

For the next fiscal, the government also aims to raise funds in form of license fee from telecom operators, receipts on account of spectrum, usage charges and auction of Broadband Wireless Access spectrum currently in use by Central PSUs.

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Luxury cars to become dearer by up to Rs3 lakh

With higher customs duty on imported big luxury vehicles, the Mercs, BMWs and Audis are set to become costlier

New Delhi: Luxury cars will become more expensive by up to Rs3 lakh as disappointed automakers such as Mercedes Benz and Audi deciding to pass on increased duties imposed in the Budget on Friday to consumers.

"The Budget is very disappointing for us. We were hoping for some reduction in taxes for large vehicles instead of hiking it further," Mercedes Benz India Director (Corporate Affairs and HR) Suhas Kadlaskar told PTI.

The premium car makers usually bring in advanced technology into the country and this step will be very counter-productive, he added.

"We are going to pass on the additional burden to customers. We have not decided the exact amount yet, but on an average it will vary between Rs 2 lakh and Rs 3 lakh," Mr Kadlaskar said.

Expressing similar sentiments, Audi India said it may hike the prices of its products in the country.

"The increase in excise and customs duty on large cars in this budget is very surprising. This increase comes at a time when the Indian automotive industry was finding favour with customers looking for better and efficient cars," Audi India Head Michael Perschke said.

The company may now re-evaluate its pricing strategy in India, he added.

Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) said the vehicle makers were not expecting duties on large cars to go up in the Budget.

"While the auto industry appreciates that there was a compulsion to increase base rates of service tax and excise duty, the industry had hoped that the excise duty on large cars would have come down from 22% to 16% rather than going up," SIAM President S Sandilya said.

The 27% excise duty will lead to significant increase of tax for large premium cars, he added.

Mr Sandilya, however, welcomed the move to impose higher customs duty on imported big luxury vehicles.

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