Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, among the richest sportsmen in the country, recalled a time in his life when he did not have money to hire a cab for a ride home from the railway station on his return from Pune after an under-15 cricket game.
"I was only 12 years old and was selected to play for the Mumbai under-15 team. I was excited, carried some money and we went to Poona (Pune) to play three matches and it started raining there," Tendulkar said at the launch of 'digibank' initiative of DBS.
"When I got my turn, I was out on 4, run-out. I was only 12 and could barely run at a decent pace. I was disappointed and came back to the dressing room crying and after that I did not get another chance to bat," he said.
"Because it had rained, we had nothing to do the whole day, except to go out, watch a movie and eat. Without knowing how to spend my money and how to equally pace myself and save money, I finished everything and when I came back to Mumbai by train there was not a penny in my pocket.
"I was carrying two big bags, we got off at Dadar station and I had to walk to Shivaji Park because I had no money," Tendulkar recalled, ruing that it was the pre-cell phone era.
"Can you imagine, if I had a phone in my hand, one SMS and my father or my mother would have transferred the amount to my phone and may be I would have travelled by cab," said Tendulkar who celebrated his 43rd birthday two days ago.
In another reference to the crucial role of technology, Tendulkar pointed out that he was the first player in the history of cricket to be given out by the third umpire.
"When it comes to technology, I was first one to be given out by the third umpire in 1992. Sometimes technology can't go
your way," he said.
Tendulkar was declared run out on 11 by the third umpire who viewed the action replay against South Africa in the Durban Test of the historic visit by India in 1992.
"While fielding you need the right decisions from the third umpire, but not while batting," he said on a lighter note.
Asked to look back on the changes that have taken place in the game during his lengthy career, Tendulkar said, "A lot of changes happened. When I started playing cricket – that was ages ago in 1989 -- we did not have a proper sponsor. So guys who had been around for a while had t-shirts and trousers and all that.
"We, on our first tour, had limited resources to get top clothing. So, from there it all started. We were suddenly told that there is going to be a computer in the dressing room -- which was in 2002-03.
"What is a computer going to do in the dressing room? Computer is not going to teach you how to bat. But over a period of time we realised that planning and executing those plans was not left to imagination. We could actually set up a projector and have all those data displayed on the screen," he said.
"And if we spoke about, do not bowl to this batsman in this area, because that is his strong one, it was not us 15 players imagining, but it was actually there in front of us. Those kinds of things helped us in planning for them and to execute those plans, the thought process was clear," he said.
Image: Sachin Tendulkar in action during his debut Test match against Pakistan at Karachi in November 1989
Photographs: Pradeep Mandhani