1.When was the first time you have met Sachin and your feeling?
Like every Indian youngster I also grew up watching him play. I was 13 in 1989 and Sachin was 16. Looking at the way he handled the attack comprising Imran, Wasim and Waqar, I learnt to trust him as a true Indian. As far as I remember it was in 1996 that I met him for the first time. From the turn of the millenium we became friends.
2.So you are close to Sachin since 2000?
More from post 2003 WC we became good friends and since then our bonding kept going stronger and stronger.
3.How do you feel being closely associated with Sachin, the man whom billions worship ?
As a friend I have greatest respect and affection for him. Ya I’m privileged to be closely associated with him. He gifted me his 100th century gloves with his sign and date of the 100th century on it. It has a pride of place in my museum.
4.Pick your 3 favourite knocks of Sachin ?
Well its very very tough to pick 3 knocks in his 24 year long International career. First one comes to my mind is the 98 against Pakistan in WC 2003, the way he handled the pressure and the importance of that match, kargil memories were fresh and the match had serious political undertones.
100 against England after 26/11 attacks to bring back smile on the faces of Indians. The way he batted in the fourth innings to get India through was just outstanding.
Then comes the three tons against Australia, 143,138 in sharjah and 155 in Chennai where he won the one on one battle against Shane Warne and belted him all round the park.
5.Then what about 136 against Pakistan in Chennai and 175 against aus in Hyderabad ?
See that’s why I told you that its hard to pick 3, as you said those two are also great knocks amongst many others . The way he played in Chennai with injury was incredible and even after scoring 175 against aus Sachin still blames himself for not finishing off the match.
I met Sachin in the hotel after the match, he was so low. He even cried after the defeat.
6.Knowing him so closely tell us something what you feel about Sachin
He continues to be humble and modest and is attached to his roots. He has been brought up in that way. Sachin and Anjali has strong middle class values and have brought up their children in the same way. Playing cricket for INDIA and to do well for India was his ultimate goal. His passion for hard work is the third stand out feature.He feels there is no substitute for hard work and that is why he works so hard even at this age before the start of every series.
7.You have recently been with Sachin in London , what was the trip all about ?
Its a pure personal trip he wanted some time off with his family. I met him a couple of times. I was also doing my own academic work in Oxford.
8.Sachin was named in ranji probables will he be available?
Yes, he will be coming back to India in sometime I think .Will prepare for CLT-20 and play Ranji season to get prepared for all important SA series
9.Does he discuss anything about retirement ? Did he tell you about ODI cricket retirement before ?
No, nothing of that sort has ever been discussed as of now he feels there is still cricket left in him. Retire is entirely his personal decision and I don’t want to talk about retirement with him. He is focused on dealing with Steyn and co and that’s what we should let him do.
10.We heard that Sachin is coming up with an autobiography book and you are working on it ?
Yes, we are working on it since2011 is all I can say. Its his autobiography and he should answer questions related to it.
Interview is taken By :PK Sachinist
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