It rarely happens that cricket’s brightest star and a man whom records chase, spares you nearly two hours and gets candid on almost everything under the sun. So when the ‘God of Cricket’- that’s what Sachin Tendulkar is referred to as in India- came to Noida, the enthusiasm was unmatched and for us - the Zeecric Team, the situation was no different.
In a ceremony attended by Himanshu Shekhar, Vaibhav Arora & Biswajit Jha, Tendulkar answered questions without hesitation and minced no words in thanking his fans for their never ending support and love.
On his wax statue:
It was a very emotional moment. (My son) Arjun wanted to take down the bat and start playing but I told him not to get very close.
On Buchanan’s multiple captain theory:
I don’t know what to say about multiple captains but multiple suggestions always come to a captain. Multiple ideas are always welcome but on field their can be only one captain.
We, at Mumbai Indians, have always accepted new ideas. Jayasuriya for example is a very senior player and never shies away from giving suggestions even when he is fielding on the boundary and for us that is okay.
It won’t be right for me to comment on any other team as I don’t know their game plan.
IPL has changed Indian cricket. It is the first time in cricket that players from all over the world are competing against one another. It is a great opportunity for the younger players who get to rub shoulders with top players.
It is disappointing for Indians that IPL has been shifted to South Africa. I am sure the BCCI did its best to hold it in the country. But I do not think that it will affect the popularity of IPL. It will be followed as much as it was last year.
This is going to help youngsters. Tomorrow they may be asked to travel to Australia or England. So there is always a first time and it will make them a better player.
On his chances of returning for T20 World Cup:
I would have loved to be there but I feel it could disturb the current combination and that is the only reason I have stayed out of the (T20) team.
I remember, we were in England and immediately after that the team was to go to South Africa for Twenty20 World Cup. I said my body was not fully fit. And I was not in a position to give my best, my 100% for India. I thought I should not be a part of the team and instead allow somebody else to go, someone who can give their 100%.
It’s a team sport so even if there is one weak link it affects the whole team. I didn’t want that to happen. The team went to South Africa and did well. They settled quite nicely. I don’t want to disturb the team now that they are going terrific.
On Dhoni’s captaincy:
Even when he was not the captain, MSD showed he has a sharp brain. He thinks clearly and not in a complicated way, which is a good sign.
On his relationship with the younger lot in the dressing room:
I am like an elder brother to the younger lot. We share our experiences and try to learn as much as we can from each other. There is a great atmosphere in the team.
On three most important men in his life:
My father Ramesh Tendulkar, elder brother Ajit and boyhood coach Ramakant Achrekar are the guiding lights of my life.
My father was my first guru and he gave direction to my life. In his most important advice to me, he told me everything in life is temporary. The only lasting thing is the impression you leave on people’s mind. He said `people should remember you as a good human being even after you are through with cricket.’
He said `you are successful only when people around you love you and like to be with you`. I think that was his most important advice for me.
In father`s absence, my elder brother Ajit remains a guide and philosopher I can fall back on any time.
Bhai is my second guru and whatever success I got in cricket is due to him. It`s just because of him that I started playing cricket. I was like any other fun-loving, school-going boy and it`s he who made me take the game seriously.
And then Achrekar sir was unforgiving. I would always hope about skipping practice but he would inevitably turn up with his bike, taking me to the grounds. I could never skip those practice sessions. But even today, I realize those sessions did wonders for me.