Time Magazine once called him the “God of Cricket.”
Sachin Tendulkar may not be a household name in America, but in Asia, he’s widely considered the greatest athlete of his generation. This week, after a career spanning 24 years, he played his final match in his hometown of Mumbai. Fans cheered. Others cried. And his own mother, who had never seen him play live before, beamed with pride.
To show his impact on the sport, consider this: He’s set nearly every batting record in cricket (though many have since been broken). He’s been called the Michael Jordan of cricket. He’s also one of the world’s richest athletes, according to Forbes – higher than Serena Williams. And T-shirts printed in India summarize his impact perfectly: “Cricket is my religion, and Sachin is my god.”
But where does Tendulkar really compare among the world’s greatest? Consider the following:
#51 Highest Paid Athlete in the World: Even at age 40, Tendulkar is still – by far – the highest earning cricket player in the world, with a total income of $22 million in salary and endorsements, according to Forbes. This ranks him higher than NBA stars Chris Paul ($22 million) and Dirk Nowitzki ($21 million), and just behind boxer Vladimir Klitschko ($24 million) and Major League baseball all-star Miguel Cabrera ($23 million)
#16 in Facebook Fans: According to FanPageList.com, Tendulkar has more than 12 million fans on Facebook. That ranks him ahead of tennis player Maria Sharapova (11.1 million), and just behind track megastar Usain Bolt (12.6 million)
#1 Cricketer on Twitter: Tendulkar has 3.8 million followers on Twitter, ranking him higher than NBA star Kobe Bryant (3.7 million) and Tiger Woods (3.6 million). He still has a long way to go before catching the world’s top athlete on twitter, Cristiano Ronaldo (22 million).