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Tendulkar hints at playing 2011 WC
Ashish Shukla | March 17, 2007 02:07 IST
If anyone thought the World Cup in Caribbean was the last hurrah for Sachin Tendulkar, the Indian batting great has hinted at playing in 2011 as well if his "body holds good".
"I don't know if this is my final World Cup. The one in 2011 is quite far from here but it all depends on how my body is holding up," said Tendulkar as he graced a UNICEF function for fight against HIV-AIDS among children.
The 2011 edition, which would be Tendulkar's sixth World Cup, will be co-hosted by India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The 33-year-old Mumbai batsman is set to play his fifth World Cup and currently holds the record for most runs scored in the mega event but yet to taste the glory of winning the Cup.
India had finished runners-up to Australia in the 2003 edition in South Africa.
Tendulkar said his team had the quality to reach the finals but needed to gain early momentum in the tournament.
"We can reach the finals. Our chances are very good but all we need is to stick to basics and gain an early momentum."
He, however, cited the example of the West Indies to stress the point that one-day cricket was a game of uncertainties.
"West Indies were all out for 85 against us but they then defeated Pakistan. In one-day cricket, everyday is a new day.
"We can't take any opposition lightly. We can't afford to be over-confident. Since we would face very different oppositions, we need to have flexibility in planning," he added.
Tendulkar played down all suggestions to his rivalry against Brian Lara and hoped the two batsmen, regarded by most as the best of the present era, will help inspire the next generation.
"I'm glad we both have been able to give some wonderful cricketing years to the world. We have extremely high regard for each other and are good friends and that's what matters to us.
"Eventually, if we are able to inspire the next generation it would matter more to us than runs scored or wickets taken.
"There is no rivalry between us. Cricket is not played among individuals, it's a team sport."
The little master, who holds most of the one-day records, including most centuries, runs and matches, devoted most of the afternoon in trying to promote the cause dear to him.
He visited Robert Greenidge grounds in Gonzales, a parish in Port of Spain, where cheering children and youngsters were at hand to greet him.
Tendulkar cited a personal example to urge everyone to come together to fight against the deadly disease.
"Last year, I was in India in Chennai where a physically challenged boy was brought to me whose ambition was to play with my cricket bat. He was in a wheel-chair, supported by a couple of people but the moment he held my bat, he stood on his own. It completely motivated me and showed where there is will there is way."
Tendulkar said there was more to life than cricket and it was important for individuals in positions to stand up for worthy causes.
"There is more to life than cricket. I am in a position to help so I go out and help."
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