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February 21, 2000

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"I as captain take moral responsibility for the failure"

Sachin in Real Audio

I just want to make a few things very clear. At the beginning of the season when Mr. Wadekar, the then chairman of the selection committee, met with me and offered me the captaincy, I showed my reluctance to accept the job as I felt that I was not mentally prepared at that time.

Inspite of that, when my name was announced as captain, I took up the task as I was one of the most experienced players and the selectors felt at that time I was the best man to do the job. I accepted the captaincy knowing that this Australian tour would be a very difficult one, judging from the Australian teamís recent performance -- they had won the World Cup.

I tried my best but nothing worked out for us. I do not want to offer any excuses for a poor performance in Australia, but I as captain take the moral responsibility for the failure. I feel sorry for not living up to the expectations of my countrymen who always support us and wish well for the team.

I have decided after a lot of thought to step down from the captaincy after the forthcoming two Test matches against South Africa. That will give some time to the next captain to get prepared. I assure you that I will give my best as I have always have done in the past, and I am ready to play in the team under anyone and with anyone.

And finally, I would like to thank all my team mates and the Board members for supporting me.

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