Keeping her emotions in check,Anjali Tendulkar said it would be difficult to imagine her husband Sachin without cricket and that not playing the game anymore would be emotional not just for him but the entire family.
“I can’t imagine Sachin without cricket. I can imagine cricket without him but I can’t imagine Sachin without cricket,” said Anjali.
Sachin brought the curtains down on his 24-year-long illustrious career at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai after the second cricket Test against the West Indies. India thrashed the hapless Windies team by an innings and 126 runs inside three days to take the series 2-0 and give Sachin a perfect farewell gift befitting to his career.
Anjali brought Tendulkar – the family man – to the fore and said the things at home are going to be a whole lot different.
“Once he is in things are going to be different. I think all of us will have to get used to having him around at home. But I would really be happy to hand him over some of the responsibilities,” she added.
Anjali informed that Sachin is not someone who shows his emotions. Sachin,however,did become emotional and teardrops rolled down on either side of his eyes when his teammates gave him a guard of honour after their victory.
“All the years I know him,Sachin is very good at hiding his emotions. He never showed us that he was tensed before a match or upset by things said about him or not being able to perform upto expectation,” she said.
Asked if she would put up the goggles to hide her emotions,Anjali said: “I am someone who doesn’t show emotions that much. But in the last month,just thinking about it,bring tears to my eyes. Today or tomorrow,when it happens,it is going to really really emotional.”
Anjali said Sachin handled the retirement “really well” and the decision was arrived at after he discussed his future with her.
“Can’t explain what it is like for all of us. It took quite a bit of thinking from him whether to retire and when to retire. But once the decision was taken I think he handled it really well. I said ‘it’s fine. You don’t have to feel bad about it. You don’t have to feel guilty about it’.
“He always said that the minute he feels he can’t give 100 per cent anymore that will be the time. One day,he just told me ‘I think the time is right. I feel I should retire’. I think everything fitted in so well because a tour was just announced in India. Everything fitted in perfectly.”
“He is obviously been overwhelmed by the response of everyone,not only in Mumbai but in the whole country and all over the world. The way people have reacted has overwhelmed us,” she said.
Anjali said Sachin can never switch himself off from the game.
“He is never completely switched off from cricket. All these years,if he has a one month break and we are in a holiday,he always says that I can’t eat too much because I have to get back to playing. He is always going to the gym or practising with Arjun.”
Anjali said their kids,Sara and Arjun,also don’t allow emotions to get the better of them.
“I think she (Sara) is ok. She is just like her father and doesn’t show her emotions. When they were born their father was already playing for India. With all these things going around,I think now they will realise exactly who their father was. It’s all sinking in.”
She also said Sachin was pleasantly surprised to see his son as a ball boy on the second day of the match.
“Arjun is in the Mumbai Under-14 probables. The first day when he came he saw his friends down in the field. He was feeling terrible that he wasn’t with his friends.”
Anjali said even before they got married,she knew Sachin belonged first to Mumbai and then the country.
“Even before we got married I knew that he is not only mine but he belongs to Mumbai,he belongs to the country and after only he belongs to me.”