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Tendulkar, Sania at Sunfeast Open

Source: PTI
September 18, 2007 17:26 IST
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Sachin Tendulkar skirted the issue of captaincy of the Indian cricket team, saying he does not have much to say on it.

"I don't have much to say about the issue of captaincy. I am not allowed to do so," Tendulkar, who was one of the strong contenders for the job, told reporters on the sidelines of the WTA Sunfeast Open in Kolkata.

Asked how Mahendra Singh Dhoni is doing as skipper of the Indian team in the ongoing Twenty20 World Cup, in South Africa, Tendulkar replied, "It is up to the selectors to decide issues like captaincy."

Tendulkar, who came here as a brand ambassador of Sunfeast, the confectionary brand of ITC Foods and main sponsor of the WTA event, said watched the team's performance in the Twenty20 games and felt they were fantastic.

"The team is doing well though the last result we did not like. I am confident the team will do well. Everybody is wishing the team well," Tendulkar said.

The cricket icon is scheduled to play a promotional mixed doubles match alongside some tennis celebrities, including Mahesh Bhupathi, in the afternoon.

To a question whether the team had any difficulty playing without a coach during the recent England tour, the batting maestro said it did not matter to him.

"I am talking from my side. I always help out junior players and don't wait for the juniors to come to me. If I feel I should go to them, I do it. If I feel something is missing, I tell them," he said.

"I told the youngest member of the team recently that if he feels that something is missing, he is welcome to ask me. That'll make things better."

Asked about the pressure that a sportsperson has to withstand while representing India, Tendulkar said, "Pressure will always be there when you are representing India. But I always believe in keeping things simple. One should not let things get complicated".

Tendulkar also endorsed the view of the country's numero uno tennis player Sania Mirza, who was also present at the media meet, that one needs to have the ability to take in a lot of criticism while playing for India.

"In addition to talent, lot of hard work is involved. We have to be prepared to take a lot of criticism and praise also. We may be criticised so hard after losing that we may feel like not playing any more. But this is part and parcel of our lives," Sania said.

At the function, Tendulkar put his hand's imprint on a tile which would be placed in the Avenue of Stars at the Millennium Park in the heart of the city. Designed on the lines of Hollywood's Hall of Fame, the Avenue of Stars features handprints of famous stars from various fields visiting the city for the US $175,000 WTA event.

The Avenue of Stars, inaugurated last year, already has the handprint of leading tennis stars like Martina Hingis, Bhupathi and Sania.

Photograph: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images

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