Sachin Tendulkar addresses the media in Mumbai a day after he retired from International cricket after paying his 200th and final Test, at the Wankhede Stadium against the West Indies. Catch all the highlights from the Master Blaster’s press conference today:
Sachin Tendulkar has entered and the 49 cameras are all focussing on the Master Blaster as he makes his way to the podium. Here is what the Master Blaster had to say:
Playing international cricket for 24 years was the most important thing of my life. Cricket has been my life, it was oxygen, I have played for 30 years. 75 per cent of my life has been cricket. It has been just 24 hours since i retired, I need at least 24 days to decide about my future (smiles).
I have overcome various challenges in the past 24 years due to my overwhelming desire to play for India. Still has not sunk in that I’ll not play cricket anymore… maybe I’ll be playing somewhere. No regrets in leaving the game, felt it was the right time to quit. It was a very enjoyable journey.
There were loads of thoughts about retirement in my career. I made it a point that whenever I decide, I’d let you (the media) know.
I had requested BCCI to keep my farewell match in Mumbai so that my mother can see me playing. I wanted it to be a surprise, she came to know from you. In my heart, I will always be playing and praying for India.
After playing for 24 years, you have to appreciate that there were many injuries and these were not easy to overcome. Somewhere your body sends you a message – enough of this physical load. It was becoming an taxing effort – to do training sessions.
In any field, as an Indian, the country comes first.
Sachin to NDTV: “Yesterday, I said Bharat Ratna is for my mother for all the sacrifices she has made right from my birth. Bharat Ratna is dedicated to millions of mothers in India for all the sacrifices they have made. I am humbled and honoured that this award has been bestowed on me for my contribution to cricket. His contribution is immense, whatever he has done isn’t in front of thousands of people. I congratulate Prof Rao for winning Bharat Ratna, great honour to be named with him. His contribution is immense, whatever he has done isn’t in front of thousands of people. West Indies has world class players, they’re a terrific side. Sometimes things don’t work out for a team, so that has what happened for them.”
I like interacting with young players. May not be public, but would like to help the youngsters and share my thoughts with the next generation.
I will always play for India from my heart. The wicket is my temple. It gave me everything. Whatever I am, I have achieved because I spent time between the 22 yards. It was quite emotional when I touched the pitch, don’t think I was emotional when I took the decision to retire. Was emotional when the players gave me a send-off or when I spoke to the wicket.
Because of coach Achrekar’s respects, I have reached till this level. Because of coach Achrekar’s respects, I have reached till this level. The relationship between my first coach and myself cannot be explained. Achrekar sir called me yesterday and said, ‘well done’.
Injuries were an emotional time for me. To overcome injuries and come back wasn’t easy. Each time there were different goals in front of me. It is very important to respect nature. My tennis elbow took 4 and a half months to heal.
Music has been my constant companion. It is not easy to single out my favourite SD Burman song.
When I woke up this morning at 6:50 am and then realized I don’t have to go for practice.. I go according to body clock, I made myself a cup of tea. Had nice breakfast with my wife. I was a relaxed morning. I got a lot of good wishes. The Ashes is going to be exciting, the way I saw Mitchel Johnson bowling in India, I would say it is exciting. My first ton at Old Trafford, and my hundred in Chennai, chasing 374 are my two favourite moments against England.
(In Marathi): My brother Ajit and I shared this dream, both of us used to represent India. Ajit seemed relieved and relaxed yesterday. The emotions that I felt yesterday were shared by Ajit as well.
I was in tears yesterday and I didn’t want anyone to see me like that.
The beauty about my family is they never lost balance. Whether I got 100 or 15-20, my father – mother had encouraging words for me. Even yesterday, my mother told me I’ve kept sweets in front of god. That tradition continues and will never stop. My parents reaction to me when I got back from any tour was not related to how I performed.
My mother was extremely happy to see me play. Had requested the MCA to keep a room for me at the guesthouse but my mother preferred to sit and watch every ball. When I went to meet her in the president’s box, I could see it in her eyes.
As a father I would say, leave Arjun alone and let him enjoy the game. If I had that pressure, I would have a pen in my hand and not a cricket bat as my father was in the field of literature. He is madly in love with cricket and that is what matters – I don’t want to put pressure on him.
The best moment in my career was when we won the 2011 World Cup. Yesterday was also special, the way the people responded. I want to say a big thank you to everyone. My most disappointing moment was when we lost the 2003 World Cup final, after coming so close to the title.
In a team sport, it doesn’t matter who performs as long as we win. All the guys, I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team. Bhubaneshwar wasn’t even born when I started playing for India. Jokingly, I’ve told them to greet me by saying ‘Good Morning Sir’ when I walk into the dressing room. Fun to share my experiences not just because I was senior. I did that when I was the junior-most player as well. It is about talking cricket.
I have shared my experiences with the current team, my observations on their batting. It is all about talking, breathing cricket. It is about cricket. I read what is written about me and who has written them. You reach a stage where you realize whose advise to take. I associate and interact with people who encourage me and make me a better player.
My advice to all 40-year-olds is that 40 is the new 20 so continue to be 20 and remain exuberant. When you hold a cricket bat or ball, you need to have that bubbliness. Cricket brings out a childlike enthusiasm in me.
It is not about foreign or Indian coaches. To me, there should be a proper coach who understands the players. At this level, we all know how to play a cover drive but when something goes wrong, who do you sit and talk to about it. A coach is a coach, as long as the relationship with players is a healthy relationship. Players must be able to share problems and must have confidence that whatever they are sharing will not be leaked out.