Indian icon Sachin Tendulkar may be cricketing God for many of his fans but the batting legend has stressed that he is “normal”.
“I’m no cricketing god. I’ve made lots of mistakes on the field. I’ve loved playing cricket, but I’m normal Sachin and that’s how it should be,” he told BBC Sport in an interview released in London on Tuesday.
“I consider myself fortunate that people like me, people love me. It’s a special thing. I’m blessed I think. God has been kind to me. I don’t want to take anything for granted. I am only thankful to everyone for being so kind to me and it’s never enough,” he added in reference to a question on hero worship.
The highest run-scorer in the history of international cricket was at the Lord’s Cricket Ground last week for the official launch of his autobiography ‘Playing It My Way’.
During an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live channel he described his life after retirement as “hectic”.
“I’m getting to know a different side of life. For 24 years I was focusing on cricket and nothing else. I feel the first innings of my life was playing cricket and chasing my own dream – and the dream was to win the World Cup. The second innings of my life, the post cricketing years, is to try and give back something to the people who have wished well for me,” he said.
Tendulkar also reiterated his faith in the lengthier form of the game, describing Test cricket as the “main course” and other versions like “starters and desserts”.
“Out of 10 cricketers, if you asked, I wouldn’t be surprised if eight say that Test cricket is the top, then comes the rest,” he said.
The former Indian captain also singled out his century against England in 2008 in Chennai soon after the terror attacks in Mumbai as his “most meaningful”.
“It was a difficult period for all Indians across the globe. I felt really proud that I could do something to allow people to think about something else for a while. It allowed people to smile, which was an even greater satisfaction,” the 41-year-old said.
Asked about his legacy being taken forward by his son, he added: “First cricket has to be in your heart, then it gets to your brain. The key is to be madly in love with cricket, which he is.”