Batting legend turns back the clock; stresses the important role the media played in his cricket career
Sachin Tendulkar cuts a cake on his 18th birthday at the Wankhede Stadium press box. To his left is H Natarajan while fellow reporter, the late Vinod Vasudeo, claps. PIC/MID-DAY ARCHIVES
It’s nearly 32 years ago, but Sachin Tendulkar remembers it as if it was just yesterday.
Eighteen years ago, Mumbai’s Tendulkar was involved in a Ranji Trophy game at the Wankhede Stadium against Hyderabad. The journalists at the game requested him to come over and cut a cake for his 18th birthday in the then open-air press box.
Tendulkar obliged, much to the delight of the press and as you see in this image, he enjoyed himself too. One of the reporters from that 1991 game - H Natarajan- then with the Indian Express, is this image and was present at Friday’s luncheon to celebrate Tendulkar turning 50 on Monday.
Sachin Tendulkar with a group of journalists at the CCI on Friday. H Natarajan is encircled. PIC/ATUL KAMBLE
At the Cricket Club of India, Prasanna Sant, the host of the interactive session, asked Tendulkar about his relationship with the media.
He expressed his appreciation for the press probably like never before. He thanked the media for providing the “fuel in his tank” to pick himself from failures and perform.
Tendulkar recalled the time when journalists used to be in the same room as the players and enjoying themselves. He referred to one of the days on the 1989-90 tour of Pakistan - his first with the Indian team - when both groups got together for a fancy dress session with him putting on a false moustache amidst the singing and somebody playing the tabla and harmonium.
Tendulkar also recalled urging the press at the same CK Nayudu Banquet Hall a few years ago, to let his son Arjun be in love with cricket (in the midst of coping with the pressure of being a son of a famous father). He praised the media for letting his son do so and stressed that cricket is Arjun’s sole focus.