Sachin retires, legend lives on - The New Indian Express

Sachin retires, legend lives on

Published: 17th November 2013 12:20 AM

Last Updated: 17th November 2013 01:33 AM

It was shortly before 1pm on a Saturday afternoon when Wankhede Stadium witnessed an unusual sight. Sachin Tendulkar had just completed a lap of the ground on the shoulder of his teammates. Instead of going to the dressing room, he headed for the centre and touched the pitch like one touches the feet of elders. He left the ground struggling to control tears.

That’s how the journey that started with a century on first-class debut at this very ground in 1988 ended. The years in between saw many landmarks none bigger than the World Cup win in 2011. Tendulkar spoke his heart out and most notably, said the “Sachin, Sachin chants will reverberate in my ears till I stop breathing”. The crowd needed no prompting. It was “Sachin, Sachin” one last time.

 

And when Sachin spoke the crowd stood in rapt attention. From paying tribute to his father Ramesh Tendulkar for all he has done to thanking his teammates, the Master as usual was at his eloquent best. “The most important man in my life is my father. Without his guidance, I wouldn’t have been where I am. He inspired me to chase my dream, but told me there are no shortcuts. He told me not to give up and maintained that I should become a good human being. I miss him today,” he said.

Excerpts: 

On mother Rajni Tendulkar: I don’t know how my mother dealt with me. I was extremely naughty. Every mother wants her child to be healthy and fit. I am sure the way I was, my mother must have been worried about me. But she took care of me. Whenever I played, she prayed and prayed and prayed for me.

On uncle and aunt: As my school was far from my house, I stayed with them for four years. I used to feel tired at the end of the day and my aunt would give me food so that I had the energy to carry on next day. They treated me like their son and it is still like that even today.

On eldest brother Nitin: He was the one who always encouraged me. Kept telling me that whatever I do, I must give my 100 per cent.

On sister Savita: My first bat, a Kshmir Willow, was given by her and that is how my journey started. She is the one who used to fast whenever I batted and it has not changes all these years.

On elder brother Ajit: We lived our dreams together. He sacrificed his career so that I could develop as a cricketer. He was responsible for the move that changed my life and took me to Ramakant Achrekar sir. Would you believe it, even last night he called and we ended up discussing my dismissal. We just can’t stop discussing technique.

On wife Anjali: It was a special moment in 1990 when I met Anjali. It was a special affair and it has continued to be that way. Being a doctor, she could have her own career. But when we decided to have a family, she said she would take care of the kids so that I could concentrate on cricket. Without her, I wouldn’t have been here. It has been the best partnership of my life.

On daughter Sarah and son Arjun: You have been two precious diamonds in my life. Sarah is 16 and Arjun 14, so they have grown up now. But I remember there were times like birthdays, sports in school when I wanted to be with them but couldn’t. I missed those moments badly. Thank you for being so understanding.

On in-laws Anand and Annabelle Mehta: Let me first thank them for allowing me to marry Anjali. I have discussed various things with them and they have been very loving and caring. On many things I have taken their advice and they have been very helpful.

On friends: For the last 24 years, my friends have stood by me. Whenever I was stressed, they were by my side. Whenever I asked them to bowl me at nets, they did. There were times when I was seriously injured and thought my career was over. Without their support, I would have been incomplete.

On coach Ramakant Achrekar: I was delighted to see him in the stands. I remember travelling on his scooter to various grounds across Mumbai. He made me play two matches a day so that I got maximum match practice. He never said “well played” to me, thinking that would make me complacent. Maybe he can that now, that my career is over and there  Aare no more matches to play.

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