Sachin Tendulkar, who is getting ready to play his 200th Test at the Wankhede from Thursday and bid adieu to the sport thereafter, got emotional at the function to name the Mumbai Cricket Association’s Kandivli sports facility as the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana yesterday.
“It felt special to read my name at the entry of the club. It feels good as I am not used to it. I didn’t expect this. It was a humble experience. I thank Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) for this kind gesture. I appreciate not just this evening but the last 24 years. Thank you for all the respect, all the love, all the care that you have showered me with,” said Tendulkar.
He thanked the MCA for playing an important role in his career. “I want to thank the MCA for making the nets available for me at any time I wanted. My association with MCA started almost 29 years ago, when I first entered an under-15 tournament. And from there on, it has been a fantastic journey.
“To play for India has been truly memorable. I think every step was different and every tour required a different kind of preparation.” Praising the indoor facilities at the Bandra Kurla Complex, the Master Blaster recalled how he used to play with his friends in the rain when the academy didn’t exist.
“A few years ago facilities at BKC didn’t exist. Practicing during monsoons was a little tough because there were no indoor nets. I used to actually go out on playgrounds and practice even while it was raining. It was a lot of fun with my friends.”
Speaking about the Kandivli club he said, “This is a wonderful facility. Sharad Pawar mentioned that this ground is free for anyone and everyone to come and play. I hope that people use this facility and bring laurels to our nation.”