'You have got to be madly in love with cricket'
Sachin Tendulkar feels that being "madly in love" with cricket has helped him stay at the top for more than two decades.
Asked how elite sportspersons guard themselves from various aspects like pressure and injuries, Tendulkar said ,"I can answer from a cricketer's point of view.
"You have got to be madly in love with cricket. Before you lay a foundation on the cricket field, there should be a solid foundation in your heart and you start building on that."
"After that as you start playing more and more matches, you learn how to score runs and how to take wickets," Tendulkar said in an interview to ESPN's Sportscentre programme.
'I wanted to spend time with my family'
The champion batsman also clarified that it was the need to spend "quality time" with his children that made him opt out of the limited overs series in Sri Lanka.
"I requested BCCI that I wanted to spend time with my family. This is the time for school holidays.
"If I had decided to go to Sri Lanka, I would have started my preparation by now. But I wanted to spend some quality time with my children since after this I would be playing continuously for next 10 months," he said.
"Holidays are different from spending time during school days or on weekends."
'I am a cricketer and will be focussed on my game'
The 39-year-old Tendulkar also stressed that though he is now a Member of Parliament his focus would remain on cricket.
"I consider it as an honour as I have been nominated by the president of India. I have been nominated for my contribution to cricket. I am a cricketer and I will be focussed on my game."
He said that he will certainly speak and give his opinion on various issues "when the time is right."
"Overnight, I cannot bring any change and it also involves a lot of things. It's not right also," he explained.
'Every individual is different'
A doting and protective father that he has been, Tendulkar said that he would never force his son Arjun or daughter Sara and let them choose their preferred careers.
Arjun has recently been selected for the Mumbai U-14 side after string of good performances in Mumbai school circuit.
"Arjun is passionate about cricket and Sara is passionate about medicine. But every individual is different. I want to guide them and support them.
"I don't want to force them and will like them to choose their fields. I will only have good wishes for them and tell them to enjoy whatever they do," he said.