Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Sachin Tendulkar: Headlines like 'Endulkar' hurt me deeply

Sachin Tendulkar reveals how hurt he was to read some of the media reports in the aftermath of India's disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign. In his new book, Playing it my way, Tendulkar says:

"After we returned to India, the media followed me back home and it hurt when I heard my own people doubting the commitment of the players.

The media had every right to criticise us for failing, but to say we were not focused on the job was not fair. We had failed to fulfil the expectations of the fans, but that did not mean we should be labelled traitors. At times, the reaction was surprisingly hostile and some of the players were worried about their safety."

Tendulkar's own form during that period came in for a lot of scrutiny and the master batsman reveals that he was quite disturbed by what was being said about him.

"Headlines like 'Endulkar' hurt deeply. After 18 years in international cricket, it was tough to see things come to this and retirement crossed my mind.

My family and friends like Sanjay Nayak did all they could to cheer me up and after a week I decided to do something about it. I started to do some running, to try to sweat the World Cup out of my head," says Tendulkar in the book.

Talking more about the World Cup, Tendulkar attacked Greg Chappell once more and even revealed that he had suggested to the BCCI that Chappell should not travel with the team to the 2007 World Cup.

"I suggested to the BCCI that the best option would be to keep Greg back in India and not send him with the team to the World Cup," Tendulkar told and added that senior players could take control of the team.

Tendulkar also professed his dislike towards Chappell not standing up for his players.

"I remember that every time India won, Greg could be seen leading the team to the hotel or into the team bus, but every time India lost he would thrust the players in front.

In general John (Wright) and Gary (Kirsten) always preferred to stay in the background, but Greg liked to be prominent in the media," says Tendulkar

Citing an example to prove how Chappell was hated by the senior members of the squad, Tendulkar says:

"Chappell seemed intent on dropping the older players and in the process damaged the harmony of the side. Once, he asked VVS Laxman to consider opening the batting. Laxman politely turned him down, saying he had tried opening in the first half of his career because he was confused, but now he was settled in the middle order.

"Greg's response stunned us all. He told Laxman he should be careful, because making a comeback at the age of 32 might not be easy.

"In fact, I later found out that Greg had spoken to the BCCI about the need to remove the senior players," the maestro writes. 

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