MUMBAI: Playing the role of a protective father, senior India batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday asked the media to leave his "cricket mad" son Arjun alone and allow him to play the game without any pressure.
Tendulkar, who was felicitated by the Sports Journalists` Association of Mumbai for scoring 100 international centuries, said that he wanted his 14-year-old son to have his own identity and not be compared with him.
"My son has played a match today. First club match, an official match. He is passionate, he is madly in love with cricket. But the other things that go around the cricketer and not just the on-field activity but whatever he gets to hear or gets to read or the way it gets projected, I would appreciate if everyone allows him to be himself and to have his own identity and enjoy his cricket above all," Tendulkar said.
"Since I am here and the entire sports journalists` fraternity is sitting over here, I am going to be a protective father. When I started playing cricket, though my father was a professor and was in literary field, at no stage I had this pressure from anyone who said you are playing cricket but how about following your father`s footsteps," he said.
"At no stage of my life, there were comparisons. He (Arjun) started his career, so it is a humble request if he can live his life like a normal 14-year-old, without thinking about anything else except falling in love with this sport," he added.
Tendulkar, who became the first player to score 100 tons in international cricket, was conferred with a special award.
The senior batsman remembered the first time he was felicitated by the association in 1987, and said the rickshaw ride at that time was quite comfortable.
"I can`t forget the rickshaw ride. It was really comfortable in those days especially when you are carrying big kit bags and travelling by train and bus. That evening was a memorable one especially as Sunil Gavaskar had just retired from Test cricket and he was present there," he said.
Tendulkar advised the other award winners to have a positive mindset to excel in their respective fields.
"From my own experience and my own journey, I can tell you he is enjoying every moment. There will be some challenges along the way but embrace those challenges. Don`t find short cuts. Continue to make the nation proud. They (sports journalists) play a huge role in making players and not supporting players. You give them a reason to support you. Their actions are always followed by your performances," Tendulkar said.
"To be able to perform consistently over the years, the mental frame of mind has to be positive at all times. You need positive energy flowing through your body, which will allow those free moments and bring out the best in you," he said.
He added that he was shy by nature and learnt to speak longer sentences to the questions asked by the media.
Lifetime Achievement Award -- Marzban Patel (Hockey); Best Sportsman -- Aditya Mehta (Snooker); Best Sportswoman -- Rahi Sarnobat (Shooting); Best Junior Sportsman -- Mahesh Mangaonkar (Squash); Best Junior Sportswoman -- Tanvi Lad (Badminton); Best Sportsperson (Indian Games) -- Deepika Henry Joseph (Kabaddi); Cricketer of the Season (male) -- Abhishek Nayar; Cricketer of the Season (female) -- Punam Raut; Junior Cricketer of the Year -- Arman Jaffer; Best Team of the Season -- Mumbai Ranji Trophy Team.