Moxon confident ‘special’ Tendulkar will reach milestone

MARTYN MOXON believes it is “only a matter of time” before India legend Sachin Tendulkar becomes the first man to score 100 international hundreds.

Moxon, who captained Yorkshire when Tendulkar played for the club in 1992, said it was inevitable he would reach the milestone sooner or later.

Tendulkar fell six runs short of achieving the record-breaking century against the West Indies yesterday in front of his adoring home crowd in Mumbai.

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But Moxon, who knows all about being left high and dry on 99 after he famously achieved that score (his highest in Tests) against New Zealand at Auckland in 1988, said Tendulkar’s day will surely come.

“You would have to say it’s only a matter of time,” said Moxon, now Yorkshire’s director of cricket.

“It must be tough for Sachin, having got so close on a few occasions, but I have every confidence he will get there in the end.

“Of course, the longer it goes on, the more difficult it might be to get over the line, but he’s got enough experience not to let it affect him to the point that he doesn’t do it.

“It’s a shame he didn’t get the hundred in Mumbai, which would have been appropriate, but I’m sure he’ll take it wherever it may come.”

Tendulkar, who has scored 51 Test centuries and 48 one-day international hundreds, has been stuck on 99 since March.

Prior to yesterday, the closest he had come to the landmark innings was against England at the Oval in August, when Yorkshire’s Tim Bresnan had him lbw for 91.

But in the unlikely event he does not score another hundred, Moxon said it would not be to the detriment of a great career.

“If Sachin doesn’t happen to get there for some reason, it would still have been a wonderful career,” added Moxon. “It’s not going to take the gloss off everything he’s achieved. It’s not the be-all and end-all to get 100 hundreds but, obviously, it’s a landmark that would be mind-blowing really.

“I think I got 45 first-class hundreds in my career and I remember how hard I had to work for those; for Sachin to have got 99 in international cricket alone takes it to a different level completely.”

Tendulkar’s was Yorkshire’s first overseas player and scored 1,070 first-class runs for the club at 46.52.

“Sachin was only 18 when he signed but he handled the pressure of being our first overseas player quite brilliantly,” said Moxon. “There was a lot of debate at the time about the rights and wrongs of overseas players but he took all the attention in his stride.

“I remember when he first linked up with us when we were playing at the Oval. He handled the media scrum magnificently and spoke coherently about the club and the history of Yorkshire cricket. It wasn’t so much his cricketing prowess that struck me as his maturity as a person. He just came across as a special individual.”