Talk about Sachin Tendulkar to an average Indian and he will have a plethora of stories to share. For most who grew up in the 90s, the Master Blaster was more than just a cricket player. He was someone who captured the imagination of many and brought the country to a literal stand still when on crease.
Among his numerous knocks is a century crafted against the mighty Australians in the difficult conditions of Sharjah. It was a century made in swirling dust and came to be known as 'The Desert Storm'. For many it was another moment to be in awe of this little magician's talent, while for some it was a moment to celebrate an excellent win over the Aussies. Karun Nair was among the former.
"It has to be the 'Desert Storm'," Karun marks the day. "Watching Sachin Tendulkar on television with my dad, especially the Coca-Cola Cup in 1998 at Sharjah when he got those two centuries against Australia was enough. I was playing cricket before that also, but this was the time that I truly fell in love with the game.
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"That's when I started thinking about taking cricket seriously. Although I was young, I was just starting to love the game and I wanted to play in the streets and play for my school and stuff; so that's how it started."
And with his dad backing him, there was no looking back.
"I was a big fan of the game and kept playing it on the streets, so my dad thought that instead of playing gully cricket, might as well give it a chance and go to an academy and start learning the game. That's how my cricketing journey started," he explains.
Karun went on to stir up his own storm when he piled on a massive 303 not out against England in only his third Test match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. And to think it all began with another storm about 3,000kms away 18 years prior.