Even as the hype around Sachin Tendulkar’s 200th Test is growing by the day, the man has yet to show any signs of anxiety. He seems calm, composed and unperturbed.
As always, the maestro has not let the burden of expectations get to him. He goes about his business that of practising at the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Bandra-Kurla facility ahead of the Champions League Twenty20 with diligence. And he also finds time for his media and social commitments.
On Saturday, Tendulkar took time out to honour a few members of the Navi Mumbai Police Sports Club.
The occasion was the club’s annual day. Speaker after speaker showered praise on Tendulkar, lauding the man for his extraordinary achievements. The emcee went a step ahead. He expressed his desire of watching Tendulkar breach the 300-run barrier in his 200th Test. All Tendulkar did was flash his trademark smile.
And when it was time for him to speak, Tendulkar gave an inspiring speech besides thanking and congratulating the Navi Mumbai Police for their work.
No, he didn’t speak a word on the 200th Test. Instead, he shared some interesting anecdotes. “My association with cricket would not have been possible without the support of my brother, friend, coaches and family. Nothing could have happened in my life if they would not have supported me,” Tendulkar said.
“I was a very mischievous child so my parents decided to introduce me to cricket, so that all my energy would be consumed and, as a result, I would get tired at the end of the day and sleep! I was always passionate about the game, but it was tennis-ball cricket. My family provided me with a platform by sending me to Ramakant Achrekar sir.
"From then on, my only dream was to play for India. I wanted to do something special and the journey started there. The rest of the guys worked hard but, for me, it was pure enjoyment which was the most important thing. I enjoyed playing the game,” he added.
He further said: “People speak about my sacrifices, but I don’t think that I had to sacrifice because whatever I did, I was happy doing it. And nothing would have been better than cricket for me.
And it continues to be so,” he told the gathering.
Tendulkar also stressed on the importance of giving 100 per cent to the game.
“Enjoying the game is one thing. One should also work sincerely because you ought to feel proud not only for your performance, but also about the effort you have put in. You perform on some days, you don’t on others. It’s not in your hands. But make sure your effort is 100 per cent.”