MUMBAI: Facing the camera for his soon-to-be-released biopic has been more challenging than standing up to the fastest bowlers in the world and scoring runs, said cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar here today.
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"For so many years, I did whatever I wanted to do and the camera captured that. Suddenly I was asked to do particular things and then the camera captured that, so it was a bit different for me. Believe me, the first option was better," said Tendulkar here at a function, where he was announced as the face of the inaugural IDBI Federal Life Insurance Mumbai Half Marathon, scheduled to be held on August 21.
"Acting is not something that I dreamt of. Without any doubt, acting was more challenging than playing cricket. I enjoyed playing more," added Tendulkar, who played 200 Test matches before retiring in November, 2013.
Tendulkar, 42, is making his acting debut with the biopic, 'Sachin: A Billion Dreams', which has been directed by award-winning British director James Erskine.
The former India skipper, who was also announced as the face of other half marathons -- Delhi and Kolkata -- by the life insurance firm, hailed the long distance runners, some of whom were present on the occasion.
"I would like to congratulate you all. I fully understand the sacrifices you make. In marathon every second matters. It comes once a while for which you prepare yourself, control your diet, push each other in a healthy competition. Healthy competition brings out the best results.
"If you lead a healthy lifestyle overall the result is better. You are able to achieve your target whether you are a doctor, engineer or sportsman. My grandmother used to say health is your real wealth, so look after your health. By running if you can keep yourself fit, then why not (run)."
He also recalled his younger days when his coach Ramakant Achrekar made him train and play from morning till dusk.
"First of all let me clarify one thing. Fitness is from within. Without doubt the current Indian team is very fit. I am sharing what happened 30 years ago when I was 13 years old," said Tendulkar.
"My coach would start the practice session at 7-7:15 which will go on till 9:30 and then, after a half hour break, there would be a match between 10 and 4:30 pm followed by another net session after which I would be asked to do a couple of laps (of the ground) with my cricket gear.
"Without realising, I felt the foundation became stronger. After that I played a number of marathon innings at school level, when both Vinod (Kambli) and I made that world record and I scored 326 not out. There were two matches going on simultaneously and I hopped over to the other to score 178 not out which was followed by a triple hundred. My coach made it all enjoyable," he recalled.
Tendulkar said the tough training as a boy helped him immensely when he graduated to international cricket as it enabled him to overcome physical tiredness.
"It's not just about being physically fit. Once you manage to push the boundaries, it also makes you mentally strong.
"There have been times when I felt tired while playing international games, but it was the mental strength that pulled me through and I could put that in practice, push myself just like a motor car. Once the car goes on reserve it still can run, that's what the body is also capable of."
Tendulkar warned if someone wanted to play serious cricket at the highest level, he should be prepared to break some bones in his body.
"Season (cricket) ball hurts, believe me. First you have to show the opposition you are fit (to continue playing after getting hit) even if you are feeling that pain. Not showing it to the opponents, give them the upper hand.
"As a kid I used to throw the season (cricket) ball up and take it on the body to get used to that pain. If you get hit it should not come as a shock to you. If you want to play cricket you are going to break bones here and there.
"My son is 12. I keep telling him that you have decided to take it (cricket) up and no one has forced you. You prepare yourself mentally and you will start performing differently, you will become fearless," Tendulkar said.
"I remember there were occasions, in fact, on one tour I got injured and came back just to do my scans but found out the hotspot in the body and doctor came and told me I had broken ribs.
"I had gone for some other scans and then I realised that for the last three months I had played with a broken rib. This is what all sportsmen go through, we all go through pain, sometimes physical, sometimes mental. And that only makes us tougher and better human beings," he added.