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Ranji opener will be more than a game for Mumbai

Sachin Tendulkar’s final first-class appearance in Mumbai’s Ranji opener against Haryana beginning today at the Bansi Lal Stadium here has clearly overshadowed every thing else and the visiting skipper Zaheer Khan was very forthcoming about the prevailing mood in their camp.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar during Mumbai’s practice session at the Wankhede on Wednesday. Pic/Suresh KK

“Everyone is excited to see Sachin in the Ranji Trophy for the last time. As a team, we are lucky to have him here. In a way it is like his farewell game. It is emotional, exciting and there are mixed feelings in the camp,” Zaheer said after Mumbai’s practice session on Saturday.

Perfect tune-up
“It is very evident that Sachin is enjoying the game as much as he did when he started playing. Given the manner in which he is preparing, he should be able to sign off on a high against the West Indies,” added Zaheer who will be looking to impress with the ball. “The emotions and the occasion will help everyone put in that extra bit to perform well.”

 Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

Haryana’s coach-cum-player Ajay Jadeja said, “I have been watching Sachin for 30 years. He is enjoying the game today as he did when he started off. For a player, any match, whether it is his first or last, is about enjoying the game. I have never seen him do anything different in any match. He always gives it everything.

“Some of us were fortunate to spend time with him. He is considered the god of cricket, so to have been able to spend that time with him, on the field and travelling, I consider myself lucky. I’m just grateful, because people will be talking about Tendulkar 100 years from now and perhaps 1000 years from now. At least I can tell my kids about the times I spent with him,” Jadeja said. 

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