Heroics of the 1983 World Cup-winning Kapil’s Devils inspired him to take up to playing cricket in proper manner, said Sachin Tendulkar at a function in Mumbai.
“I was inspired to take up playing the game with the season (hard) ball after the 1983 World Cup victory. Had it not happened things could have been different for me,” said the champion batsman last evening at the MIG Cricket Clubs felicitation function for five triumphant of the 1983 World Cup-winning side.
“I have fond memories of that victory. I was just ten years old when they won the World Cup and I did not even know at that time there were eleven players in the team. It was truly an incredible experience. I also celebrated the victory till late in the night that day (June 25) after getting permission from my parents,” the champion batsman said.
“That generation of cricketers was instrumental in inspiring youngsters to take up cricket,” pointed out Tendulkar who was the chief guest at the ceremony.
Tendulkar also fondly remembered the many afternoons he had spent at the MIG ground in its infancy and pointed out that his son Arjun was following his footsteps now.
“I have spent many afternoons at this ground. There was just a shed in those days (acting as dressing room).I congratulate the club members for the top facilities it has now. My son Arjun now comes here to practice,” Tendulkar informed.
Tendulkar’s parental house is situated just a stone’s throw away from the club and later on he had moved on to stay in his uncle’s place in Shivaji Park, the cricket hub of Mumbai, to hone his cricket skills as a student of Shardashram school.
One of the team members who was honoured at the function, former captain and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar, had a dig at current day players for switching their loyalty from one club to another at the drop of a hat.
“I have seen players switching clubs to join those which they feel have good relationship with the Mumbai Cricket Association. They are weak hearted. I want players with strong heart to play for Mumbai. I congratulate MIG Club for winning the Kanga League A Divison title even after losing several of its players,” he said.
Vengsarkar also recalled Tendulkar’s entry into first class cricket as a tender 14-year-old who was stopped from attending Mumbai’s Ranji Trophy practice for the first four days because of school exams before adding that the latter is the best-ever cricketer he had seen representing India.
“People thought he was too young to be included in the team but I as captain put my foot down. But when Sachin was absent for the first four days of Mumbai teams practice session, our coach Vasu Paranjpe was unhappy. He confronted Sachin when he made his appearance,” he said.
“Sachin told him he was prevented from coming to the nets by his mother because of drawing exams. He’s grown in stature from those days and he’s the best cricketer I have seen representing the country,” the former selection panel chief added.
Another 1983 team member and former India coach Sandeep Patil wished that Tendulkar’s dream of being part of a World Cup winning squad be fulfilled in 2011.
“Sachin dreams of one thing, to be part of the World Cup winning team. I, being part of the 1983 World Cup winning team, wish that his dream is fulfilled,” the one-time flamboyant batsman said.
Balwinder Sandhu, another team member, recalled how Tendulkar works hard on his game, which was the secret of his success.
“He knew that the RCF (Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertlisers) have nets for seaming conditions. Before the England tour (in 2007) he expressed his wish to practice on those wickets. He came down and did so for two hours. People see Sachin make batting look so easy, but not many know how hard he works on it,” the former medium pacer said.
Sunil Gavaskar and Ravi Shastri were also honoured in absentia. The World Cup winning quintet was given honorary membership of the club though some of them were already ordinary members.