How Wikipedia founder impressed Sachin Tendulkar’s fans

Published Oct 25, 2014, 5:49 am IST
Updated Jan 10, 2016, 8:38 am IST
Jimmy Wales did a Sharapova
Sachin Tendulkar. Photo: BCCI
 Sachin Tendulkar. Photo: BCCI
Hyderabad: After tennis star Maria Sharapova, it was Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales who had to face backlash for not knowing who Sachin Tendulkar was.
It all started when a member posted a question on questions-based website Quora, “Does Sachin Tendulkar know Jimmy Wales?” To which, much to everyone’s surprise, Wales himself answered, “I don’t think we have ever met. I had to Google his name to find out who he is.
I would imagine he’d have to do the same to find out who I am. :-)”, which earned the answer more than 27,000 ‘upvotes’. But within no time, Quorans started to show their astonishment.
While one user wrote, “You’re gonna be famous in India shortly (and Wikipedia may not be the reason)”, another user warned him that the Sachin army was going to invade him soon.
Someone even had a piece of advice for Jimmy: “Delete this answer at once. No one has to know. Be safe.” Users also brought to Jimmy’s notice about the Maria Sharapova episode.
This led to an update by Jimmy Wales: “UPDATE: I caused a minor and very good-natured storm with this remark and I realise now my foolishness...
“But also that I stumbled upon something that is already a meme due to Maria Sharapova saying she didn’t know who he is either. I have two excuses! First, I had to Google to see who Maria Sharapova is as well! Second, I do see why Maria Sharapova a professional athlete should know such things, but I plead universal ignorance about sporting heroes!”
However, Sachin fans did not take kindly to this update either. One user, Subhash Kumar, commented, “‘Universal ignorance about sporting heroes’ Jimmy, mind you, he is not just a hero he is considered a God in India. A fan of his once said, ‘GOD wanted to play cricket and Sachin was born’.”
The update led to another question on Quora, which was: “Is Jimmy Wales an atheist?” The question probably meant that since Jimmy doesn’t know “The God”, can he be called an atheist? It was not surprising to see Jimmy answer this question as well.
But what was surprising was to see him share a video titled, Sachin Anthem, featuring actors Dhanush and Anushka Shetty, and to quote a line from it as well. Jimmy said, “I don’t know who God is, but I believe in Sachin! If not Sachin, who will do it? We unite in your name Sachin’.”
This gesture scored a century with Sachin fans. One user said, “A moment of silence for all the senseless memes that were being readied for Mr Jimmy Wales, which will now be rendered useless.” And a series of comments followed.  User Chandralal Thakor, wrote: “If answering on Quora was cricket, Jimmy Wales just scored a century in earning brownie points with Indians here.”