Mumbai : When playback singer Shaan sang Sachin Tendulkar’s favourite Kishore Kumar number, “Tum saath hoh jab apne, duniya ko dikha denge, hum maut ko jine ke, andaz sikha denge,” at a function organised by the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), there was much to read between the lines. MCA while honouring the Master Blaster by naming its Kandivali ground after him, seemed proudly telling one and all through this song that with the world’s best on their side they could take on anyone.
Addressing a large gathering of his fans, Sachin thanked the MCA for this kind gesture. “I want to thank MCA for this memorable gesture and also for making the nets available for me at any given time and any odd hour. Whenever I wanted it, all I had to do was make a phone call and the nets were kept ready for me,” bringing a tinge of surprise into the eyes of his Indian teammates and visiting West Indian team who were present on the occasion.
“A big big thank you to MCA for this kind gesture. My association with Mumbai Cricket started almost 29 years ago, when I first entered in under-15 tournament. And from there on, it has been a fantastic journey,” Tendulkar said.
“To play for India has been truly memorable, I think every step was different and every tour required different kind of preparation,” said Tendulkar, dwelling upon his 24-year-old illustrious cricketing career. Speaking about how difficult it was to practice during monsoons in the past, Sachin said,” a few years ago there wasn’t the MCA BKC Club. And practising in t he monsoon was a little tough because there were no indoor nets. I used to actually go out on playgrounds and practice with my friends even while it was raining.”
“Today clubs like MCA at BKC and this one at Kandivali is a perfect platform for budding cricketing talents. To continue to build that sporting culture in our nation is really important. That can only happen with the right guidance, coaching, proper training programmed for the next generation,” he stated with hope that the next generation shall make use of these facilities and bring all the laurels to our nation.
Speaking on the occasion, Mumbai Cricket Association president and Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced, “this ground is free for anyone and everyone to come and play and make the most of all the facilities available.”
Pawar said Tendulkar would continue to inspire millions even after retirement. “Sachin has been a precious jewel of the MCA. We are honoured to have a player like him. He has outstanding achievements in both Test and One-Day cricket. He has been a great ambassador for not only the game of cricket but also for sporting community and a great role model for the youngsters to follow,” he said.
“One thing that stands about Sachin is his respect for the game and the way he carries himself on the ground. He is the perfect ambassador for the game,” Pawar said. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan also praised the batting maestro for his hard work and application of mind and hoped that people would follow his footsteps and be inspired by him.