Sachin’s Interview after 1996 world cup

 

Daily Telegraph, March 18, 1996

EARLY START PAVED WAY FOR SUCCESS

Interview by DJ Rutnagur

Sachin Tendulkar finished as the leading run-scorer in the World Cup. He will be in the Indian party to tour England this summer.

FIRST SPORTING MEMORY:

India winning the World Cup in 1983. I was just old enough to appreciate what I saw on television. It is not just the final that I remember but a lot of other details. Little did I know then that I would be playing in the World Cup only nine years later alongside the winning captain of 1983.

OTHER SPORTS PLAYED:

Table tennis

SPORTS WATCHED:

Most games: cricket, of course, but also tennis, badminton and table tennis, with especially keen interest. Tennis is a game of such character, particularly when the setting is Wimbledon. I`m fascinated by the speed and skills of deception in badminton and table tennis.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE ON A LIFE IN SPORT?

I suppose the decision was taken from me by fate and circumstances. What options were there for me when I was picked to play for my state at 15 and for my country at 16?

SPORTING MENTOR:

My brother, Ajit, who is nine years older. Besides playing for his school and college, he was a keen student of the game and taught me the basics when I was quite small. When I was about 11, he thought I was ready for formal coaching and made inquiries.

He was recommended to go to Mr Ramakant Achrekar, who was excellent. He thought my grip was too low down on the handle; he made me change it but found I wasn`t comfortable and let me revert to holding the bat as I did before. Now that is a good coach – flexible, never pedantic.

QUESTION MOST OFTEN ASKED:

Are you going to make a century tomorrw?

BIGGEST MISTAKE:

I have got out to some bad shots and been involved in some silly run-outs but, in life as a whole, I can`t think of having done anything I regret, maybe because I have always sought advice from wise people and people who have my interest at heart. Respect age and experience and you seldom go wrong.

CHANGES YOU WOULD LIKE IN YOUR SPORT:

Better facilities for cricket at grassroots level, especially the quality of grounds. You can`t slide and dive on rough outfields.

SPORTING EVENT WOULD YOU PAY MOST TO SEE:

Wimbledon. I wish a time machine could take me back there for the McEnroe versus Borg final in 1981. I was eight at the time. I was thrilled that McEnroe won it. The next day I prevailed on my father to buy me a racket, headband and wrist bands, like McEnroe`s.

WHOSE TALENT DO YOU ENVY THE MOST?

I would not say I envy anybody`s talent but I certainly admire Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev, not only for the cricketers they were but also for the men they are. One of my prized possessions is a letter from Sunil at the start of our domestic season in 1987, when I was only 14. I had never met him then. I believe he wrote it from the airport just before flying off to play in the MCC bicentenary at Lord`s.

I felt so happy and encouraged. When I made my first-class debut the following year, he was there to watch me. The papers printed a photograph of him in the stands. He looked engrossed. The concentration on his face was as if he was batting himself.

I was lucky that the start of my internaiional career overlapped the twilight years of Kapil`s. He never treated me like a kid in the dressingroom and encouraged me to take a fill part in discussions at team meetings. He contributed a lot to my cricket education.

WITH WHOM WOULD YOU LEAST LIKE TO SHARE A DRINK?

Anyone who is not a genuine person.

Courtesy : ESPNCRICINFO

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