Sachin's body clock still ticking at Team India's timing
In an interview with CNN-IBN, Sachin Tendulkar talks of breakfast with family, contentment with retirement decision and being overwhelmed by outpouring of love by his fans.
When you woke up this morning, what was your first thought? Did you miss playing?
I woke up in the morning at 6.15. And it's the body clock. Yesterday I did that. And when I woke up this morning I thought 'I need not have a shower and get ready into my training clothes and go to the ground and practice and prepare myself for a match'. I instead prepared a cup of tea, had breakfast with my wife. It's peaceful, really chilled-out morning. I didn't do much. I spent time responding to various messages I received, just thanking all the people for their good wishes and their support over the last 24 years.
Has it [the feeling of leaving cricket] sunk in yet?
No it hasn't. I got emotional a couple of times yesterday when the team gave me a beautiful send-off. If you noticed then, when West Indies were nine down, the whole team gathered on the wicket and [MS] Dhoni told me 'Paaji, aap please door jao (Please go away a little for a while) because we want to do something, we want to plan something for you'. So, I was the only one standing at square leg and watching and thinking 'what is going on? They must be up to something'. And, that send-off was really special, emotional and I couldn't control my tears then. And the second time when I went on to the wicket once the function was over, I just thanked cricket. Basically, I was standing between 22 yards, I just touched the wicket and I thanked cricket for everything that it has given me in life.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar kisses the pitch after his farewell speech on Saturday
'I was completely content with retirement decision'
We saw everyone having tears in their eyes. You've been a private person till now. We do not know a lot about you. But that was the first time you cried. Hasn't that been very, very difficult for you?
Yes, just that thought that 'I would never ever play for India again'. That was a little difficult. I am fully happy with the decision that I made and I believe it's the correct decision. And it came from my heart. As I always maintained that the day my heart would tell me I would take that call. And there is no decision that only an individual makes, so my family was with me, helping me in taking that decision. So I was completely content with whatever was happening.
Practice makes a man perfect and practice is what made Sachin Tendulkar. We have seen you spent practising hours and hours of the last 24 years. What was Sachin thinking when he made that fantastic speech? We have never heard you speak that much and you made people cry across the country?
I was carrying a list and my list only had the names I had to mention. Then, whatever came spontaneously I spoke: about my coach, about my parents, family, Anjali, brothers, sister and everyone. I just spoke spontaneously and in between I saw Sourav [Ganguly], [VVS] Laxman and Rahul [Dravid] on the mega screen, so I thanked them also. So everything was spontaneous and nothing was planned and prepared as such. I knew roughly what I was going to say, how I was going to thank them. But it wasn't a prepared speech as such which I practised for 15-20 times and then I had to deliver. There was nothing like that, because I wanted the speech to come from my heart. And when you are thanking someone, it's from your heart and not from your brain. So I wanted that to be a genuine speech and I think people got the message how much their support meant to me for the last 24 years. And I thought the reaction that I got yesterday was just phenomenal.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar
Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com
'I didn't expect the kind of emotional reaction I got'
Have you thought specifically of the last 3-4 weeks, how much you mean to people all across India and beyond. And the huge outsurge of emotions people are showing for the last 3-4 weeks. Is that unprecedented and unexpected?
I didn't expect that. Yes, I knew that people would thank me and all sorts of things, but I didn't expect this kind of reaction. I don't think we are capable of writing a script like this. The script is written by the Almighty. And I just want to thank the Almighty for everything that has happened in my life. I can't ask for anything more, honestly.
Your last innings of 74, do you regret missing out on a hundred? We saw every shot from your book you played except the pull possibly?
Basically, I wanted to go and give my best, the way I have always done in my life. And then the results are not in our hands. But the effort that you put in matters. And I had put in 100 per cent. The rest is always fine. I have always approached my career like that and you always cannot control the results.
How can India produce the next Sachin Tendulkar? There are lots of people, trust me, and I am sure you are aware of this for whom there is no cricket without Sachin?
I think the game moves on. My message to the entire team was 'We have been the fortunate ones to have been chosen to serve this sport. So serve the nation, take a lot of pride doing that’. I am sure the team will continue to do that. Everyone respects this wonderful sport and everyone understands the responsibility. So they will continue to give their best and bring laurels to the nation.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar does the lap of honour at the Wankhede on Saturday