Mumbai: Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar spoke of how central his strong Hindu faith and his older brother have been to his sensational cricket career as he launched his autobiography on Wednesday.
Sachin with brother Ajit Tendulkar
Releasing the long-awaited book "Playing It My Way", retired Tendulkar told an audience in Mumbai that he missed the moment that his team won the 2011 World Cup because he was "superstitious" and praying.
"Unfortunately I missed that last moment but it was all worth waiting for," he said. "I was actually there inside the stadium but I was praying." Tendulkar played his 200th and final Test match last year, ending an international career spanning nearly a quarter of a century during which he became the all-time leading Test and one-day batsman.
The 41-year-old, the only man to score 100 international centuries, said he believed "there are certain things which the Almighty controls and we can only go out and give our best". "It (faith) has given me inner strength, it has given a new dimension to my life," he said. Tendulkar also spoke of his closeness to his big brother Ajit, who introduced him to his childhood coach.
"Right from the day I started playing cricket early on he would travel with me and he would be constantly in touch with me," he said. "We have lived this dream together. I knew that whenever I went into bat,mentally he was there with me, even though we were miles and miles apart," he said.
Tendulkar was joined on stage at his book launch both with Ajit and his wife Anjali, who confessed she once ran screaming after the 17-year-old cricketer when she first saw him at an airport because he was "really cute". "Sachin was so embarrassed," she said. They later arranged her first visit to his home by pretending she, a medical student, was a journalist coming to interview him.
Tendulkar has written in his memoir that he felt so "scarred" and "devastated" by the Indian team's losing streak under his captaincy that he contemplated leaving the game in the late 1990s. He has also hit out at Greg Chappell's conduct as India's cricket coach, saying the former Australian great tried to have captain Rahul Dravid removed before the 2007 World Cup - a charge Chappell has vehemently denied.'
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Photos: Deepika Padukone, Sushmita Sen with daughters at Mumbai airport