Bangladesh defeated South Africa by 21 runs in their opening encounter of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. When last time they did that was during the 2007 World Cup. In the same tournament, they also ended India’s world cup hopes by defeating them in a must win league game. While the abysmal performance of the team was disappointing for many, it broke the moral of cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar, who started thinking of quitting the cricket.
This has been well-documented that Sachin wanted to quit cricket and his elder brother Ajit Tendulkar changed his mind reminding him that the next world cup final would be in Mumbai and he must think of holding that coveted trophy in his home ground. However, there was more to the story, which Sachin himself revealed on Sunday during an ‘India Today’ programme in London.
“I felt that was it. At that stage lot of things happening around Indian cricket were not at all healthy. We needed some changes and I felt if those changes did not happen then I was going to quit cricket. I was almost 90 per cent sure of quitting cricket. But my brother told me in 2011 there is World Cup final in Mumbai, can you imagine holding that beautiful trophy in your hand?” Sachin recalled one of the worst phases of his career.
“After that I went away to my farmhouse and that is when I got a call from Sir Viv, saying I know there is plenty of cricket left in you. We had a conversation for about 45 minutes and that was so heart-warming because when your batting hero calls you it means a lot. That was the moment things changed for me and from that moment onwards I also performed much, much better,” Tendulkar said.
Richards, who was also present in the programme, pointed to Tendulkar and said he had “always believed on this little guy”.
“I have had the opportunity to play against Sunny Gavaskar, who I have always felt would be the godfather of Indian batting. Then came Sachin, then you now have Virat. But the fact which amazed me the most is how such a small guy be so powerful,” Richards said.
Talking about the prospects of the current Indian side in the ongoing World Cup, Sachin said that ‘men in blue’ were the among the favourites to win the tournament along with England and Australia.
(With inputs from agencies)