Sports

The day after, Sachin spends a relaxed morning

Satyanarayan Iyer Mumbai | Updated on March 12, 2018

A new innings: Sachin Tendulkar addressing a press conference in Mumbai on Sunday.   -  PTI

Says retirement still to sink in, will continue to be associated with cricket

A day after he bid an emotional farewell to international cricket, Sachin Tendulkar woke up on Sunday morning at 6.50 as usual but realised that he had no more international matches to play.

“I go according to my body clock…yesterday (Saturday) I woke up at 6.50 in the morning, but today (when I woke up at 6.50) I suddenly realised that well…I do not have to quickly have a shower and get ready for the match,” Sachin said told reporters at a packed press conference.

“I made myself a cup of tea and enjoyed a nice breakfast with my wife. I spent a relaxed morning,” he said.

In his first interaction with the press, after the moving speech at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, Sachin said that it had not struck him yet that he won’t play cricket again. “I will go and play somewhere.”

The conference in itself was a sight to behold. All the 150chairs were occupied and another 300 journalists and camerapersons crowded the venue to hear the Little Master.

Sachin was led into the hall by his wife Anjali. As soon as he took the podium, cameramen went trigger happy and lights flashed all around. Sachin did not make any comments but fielded questions from the press as he seamlessly switched from English to Hindi and Marathi in the 48-minute conference.

Most questions revolved around his retirement and his feelings since then. Sachin said that he did not feel emotional when he first took the call to retire about a month ago. “When the players gave me that farewell, I became emotional. When I was talking to the wicket, I became emotional,” Sachin said.

In what might perhaps become folklore among young aspiring cricketers, Sachin walked up to the 22-yard pitch, bent down, touched and thanked it for making him India’s most cherished sports personality.

He said he was yet to decide on his future plans. “Cricket has been my life. I will stay associated with the sport,” he added.

When journalists prodded further, he said, “I have played for 24 years and it has just been 24 hours since I retired…I should get at least 24 days to decide.”

The Little Master thanked his team for its constant support and his coach Ramakant Achrekar for “not letting (success in) cricket go to his head.”

“Whenever I do well...there are no big celebrations in my home. Like any other middle-class Indian family, we offer sweets to the deity,” he revealed.

Sachin dedicated the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian honour that was announced moments after he retired, to his mother and to all mothers in the country.

He also congratulated fellow Bharat Ratna awardee, scientist C.N.R. Rao.

As the conference drew to a close there were no moist eyes, unlike in the Wankhede on Saturday, but for the exception of one of Indian cricket team’s greatest fans — Sudhir Kumar Gautam.

As Gautam took the elevator from the rooftop to the lobby, a couple requested to be photographed with the man who paints himself in tri-colour for India’s matches and cheers the players. Gautam obliged, but kept looking down, as tears welled up in his eyes.

>satyanarayan.iyer@thehindu.co.in

Published on November 17, 2013

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