Sachin Tendulkar dedicates Test ton vs England to 26/11 victims | Watch
- England left India mid-series after the 26/11 attack in Mumbai
- They returned for a two-match Test series in December
- Sachin Tendulkar scored a century and hit the winning runs in the first Test in Chennai
The unprecedented terror attack in Mumbai on November 26, 2008 rocked India to its core. Ten Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists killed at least 166 people and wounded hundreds others over three days in what continues to remain as the worst terror attack on independent India.
The attack had repercussions on all walks of life, with sports - cricket in particular - suffering as a result. The English cricket team, which was touring India, left the country mid-series and the inaugural edition of the Champions League T20 tournament was cancelled.
However, England returned for a two-match series in December, with the first of those encounters, at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, producing a thrilling and emotional finish.
Centuries from Sir Andrew Strauss and Paul Collingwood in the second innings helped England set a mammoth 387-run target for India. After a good start from openers Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar led the chase with a brilliant century, which was also his 41st in Test cricket.
The 'Master Blaster' struck the winning runs as the historic chase gave the country a reason to celebrate after a dark period. In his post-match interview, the Mumbai-born batsman dedicated the century to the victims of the 26/11 attacks.
"What happened in Mumbai was extremely unfortunate. Cricket cannot lessen whatever happened.100 will give some amount of happiness to the people. I thank those who stood up to the terrorists and who made sure that they were captured or shot dead. I salute the NSG commandos, Taj hotel staff, police, public and everyone," an emotional Tendulkar said.
Former England pacer Steve Harmison later revealed in his autobiography that Tendulkar was in tears after the match.
"The defeat in Chennai was the only Test loss in my career that I wasn’t massively bothered about. I’m not sure even a scriptwriter could have come up with what happened – Sachin Tendulkar, the great Indian hero, walking off having hit a hundred and the winning runs at the same time," Harmison wrote in 'Speed Demons'.
He also said Tendulkar visited the England dressing room and thanked the players for returning to India.