SRINAGAR: Legendary batter, Sachin Tendulkar has flown home after his eventful family vacation in Kashmir, where he visited Pahalgam, Gulmarg, Aman Setu and a bat-making factory. While Kashmir impressed him, the host population welcomed him with open arms wherever he went with his wife and daughter.

“The closest thing to heaven on earth is Kashmir,” Tendulkar wrote while sharing a video clip showing him flying home over the Kashmir Himalayas. This proclamation not only underscored the region’s natural beauty but also echoed Tendulkar’s sentiment of reverence for the picturesque locale.

Legendry Batter Sachin Tendulkar with wife and daughter during a visit to a bat-manufacturing facility in Charsoo (Pulwama) on February 17, 2024

Accompanied by his wife Anjali and daughter Sara, Tendulkar’s Kashmir escapade transcended mere sightseeing. Visiting a bat manufacturing unit in Charsoo (Pulwama) – on his way to Pahalgam, he delved into nostalgia, reminiscing about his first Kashmir willow bat, a gift from his sister. “The first bat given to me was by my sister and it was a Kashmir willow bat,” he wrote on his Twitter. “Ab main yahan hoon to Kashmir willow ko to milna banta hai!

His interaction with the workers breathed new life into Kashmir’s famed willow industry, offering a glimmer of hope and rejuvenation.

From indulging in a game of gully cricket near Aman Setu, a bridge connecting the two halves of divided Kashmir, to spending many days in Gulmarg, Kashmir’s winter wonderland; Tendulkar’s itinerary reflected a blend of sport, history, and diplomacy. At Gulmarg, which is currently hosting Khelo India Winter Games 2024, the star cricketer also drove a snow bike for some time Interacting with armed forces further underscored his respect for those in service.

In a heart-warming gesture, Tendulkar engaged in street cricket, showcasing his impeccable timing and even indulging in unorthodox shots to delight onlookers. His affinity for the region was palpable as he shared moments of joy with locals, reinforcing his status not just as a cricketing icon but as a beloved personality transcending boundaries.

In the video somewhere near north Kashmir, Tedulakr is found playing roadside cricket with a bunch of boys. In the video posted by him on his social media handles, Sachin can be seen walking up to people playing cricket on a street and asking: “Hum khelein? (Can I play as well?)”

The boys keenly watched Tendulkar’s footwork and how he played the shots. Sachin was also seen challenging the bowler to get him on the last ball, despite holding his bat upside down. However, the bowler failed to dismiss the legendary batsman, who defended the last ball with the handle of the bat.

As the video of his street cricket escapade went viral, fans marvelled at Tendulkar’s humility and genuine love for the game. His visit not only revitalised Kashmir’s cricketing spirit but also served as a reminder of the power of sport to unite and inspire.

I wept whole night, the day you Retired,' Die-hard Kashmir Fan told Tendulkar
‘I wept whole night, the day you Retired,’ a Die-hard Kashmir Fan told Sachin Tendulkar ( Snapshot of viral vide) during his Pahalgam visit in February 2024.

A video of Tendulkar flying economy class on an IndiGo flight sent the internet into a frenzy, showcasing the sheer thrill passengers experienced at sharing the same space with the cricketing maestro.

The video portrays the iconic batsman graciously acknowledging the cheers and chants of ‘Sachin-Sachin’ from delighted fans. Dressed in a humble purple shirt, Tendulkar’s warmth resonated with passengers, symbolizing his enduring connection with cricket aficionados.

It was Tendulkar’s first-ever visit to Kashmir. The visit came too late after his formal retirement from cricket in November 2013.


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