The batting legend speaks to Clayton Murzello on his various post-retirement firsts as he completes one year as a retired cricketer
First time he missed cricket after retirement:
I haven't missed playing to be honest. The only time I felt great was when I was batting at Lord's (for MCC vs Rest of the World in July). I hit a straight drive and cover drive off Peter Siddle in one over and that's when I felt, 'wow, this surely feels great.'
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First out-of-the-diet-chart snack after retirement:
If I would eat something that was heavy or something which sportsmen should not be eating during a series, I would burn it off. I would push myself harder on the field or during training. But as soon as I went back to the room (at the Taj, after his final Test), the chef prepared Haleem (a stew made of wheat, lentils and meat). In the room, Anjali and me had Haleem which was nice. There were champagne bottles all over the place. Anjali managed a surprise party at the Zodiac Grill where my friends came along for dinner. If I were playing, I wouldn't be eating and drinking what I did.
First advice to someone after retirement:
It was to Ajinkya Rahane. I told Ajinkya, 'I have been quietly observing you. Your work ethic is really good and you should continue that way.' He had played the last Test against Australia and Rohit (Sharma) had got into the side after his ODI double century against Australia. I told Ajinkya that it was all about one's work ethic and, 'you can only give back to the game. Continue doing that and the game will take care of you.'
First other sport played after retirement:
Badminton at the BKC (MCA Recreation Centre) on December 5. I also played badminton when I went for a holiday to Mussoorie.
First holiday after retirement:
London in December. For 20 years, I had yearned to be in London to celebrate Christmas. I had heard so much about Christmas there, but was not able to experience it because of my cricket schedule. I was dying to do this for 20 years and I decided that I'd go there for Christmas at the first opportunity. It turned out to be fabulous and I thoroughly enjoyed the different experience. You are used to seeing London bright till about 9 pm, but here it was dark by 4 pm. This was a new side of London for me.
First music concert witnessed after retirement:
I took my kids for a music concert in London. They wanted to watch a music group so I had make sure I was with them and everything was arranged properly. I ended up taking them not knowing a single song from the band.
First time he held a bat after retirement:
In December 2013. I was watching my son Arjun playing with his friends at the back of our house and they said, 'uncle, please come and play with us' and so I did.
First time he trained as hard as he had in his playing days:
It was while playing badminton in January. We really pushed ourselves hard.
First time he got emotional after retirement:
When I went to my mother who performed aarti the day after I retired. She offered sweets to God, which was normally done when I returned from tours.
First time he danced wildly:
After retirement… no! But I danced a bit with the kids of my friends Amol Muzumdar, Sairaj Bahutule, Nilesh Kulkarni and Atul Ranade while we were celebrating New Year's Eve at BKC.
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