I just won the best photo of the year award for the image of Sachin Tendulkar heading to bat in his last test match. This was at Wankhede Stadium.
Everyone knew it was Sachin's last day, so obviously the crowd was really emotional. There was a lot of energy. The stadium was packed, everyone was waiting to see Sachin.
I have been covering Wankhede since 1996, so I know exactly where the light is good. It was 9:30 am..morning light. I had taken my position at 9 am. There were 50-60 photographers.
He walked out of the dressing room at 9:30 am and it was like God's 'darshan'. I got about 15-20 shots of him.
Sachin didn't look at the cameras as he headed to the pitch. He just seemed very emotional.
I was using a Nikon D-200 with a 400 mm lens. It was given to me by the office (Mid-Day) in 2006.
I had clicked 100s that day. This photo was never released. I did love the frame, but never thought it would win. The photo we had used in the paper was the one where he raises his bat before going back to the pavilion.
A friend called and told me about this contest. I decided to send two photos - this and the photo where Sachin is seen bending to touch the pitch to do 'pranaam'. There were 5,000 photos in competition. The judges selected 11 and then crowned this the winner (Read: Sachin's Last Walk to Crease Bags Best Photo Award)
The main judge - Patrick Eagar - said that the photo looked like a painting. Coming from him, this meant a lot. What I like best is that I had the opportunity to cover Sachin's last match. It was an extremely emotional moment for me and everyone else. I'm proud I could create something memorable.
(Read the Full Mid-Day Article Here)
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