'Sachin Tendulkar will never tell us why he really retired, but kuch toh hua hai’

Lata Mangeshkar (left) seen felicitating Sachin Tendulkar at a function organised by the Mumbai Marathi Sports Journalists Association in 2006. Photo Credit: DNA.

By Lata Mangeshkar

Sachin Tendulkar is very dear to me. His decision to retire from cricket has saddened me deeply. Frankly, there was a lot of pressure on him. For reasons best known to them, some people insisted that he retire. But why should he have retired until and unless he felt he should?

One tends to get tired of all the external pressures imposed on one’s abilities. Cricket is a very difficult game. One tends to get tired, tends to give underwhelming performances. It doesn’t mean the artiste has lost his talent. Luckily and by God’s grace, I never had to face such attacks on my capabilities.

I never felt the pressures that Sachin must have felt. There were public discussions on whether he should retire. I don’t understand why. I didn’t like it. Did people think Sachin lacked the wisdom to know when to quit? Whether it’s a game of cricket or singing we know when to call it a day. Let the artiste decide when to retire.

There was a time not long ago when Sachin was iconised. Later they wanted him to go. Why do we do such things to our heroes? Sachin is like a son to me. I am saddened by his retirement. But I know he will take his cricketing career to the next level. Maybe he will train new generations of cricketers.

There can never be another Sachin. I remember how shocked I was when Sunil Gavaskar had announced his retirement. I feel the same sense of shock now when Sachin has called it a day.

I grew up with cricket. We had the game going on in my backyard when I was a child. I’ve watched generations of cricketers play. Sachin is one of his kind. Sachin will never tell us why he really retired. He doesn’t believe in saying too much. Kuch toh hua hai.

He must have taken the decision after great deliberation. There was pressure on him from some quarters to retire. Sachin didn’t succumb to those pressures. I am sure he has quit because he thought it was the right time to do so.

Don Bradman, who is considered the ultimate cricketer, had said that Sachin plays like him. What bigger endorsement of Sachin’s talent could there be? There is nothing more to be said.

(Lata Mangeshkar is very close to Sachin Tendulkar, who calls her “aai” (mother). The Nightingale of India, who has sung in 36 languages in a career spanning seven decades, was talking to Subhash K Jha. The article first appeared in DNA)

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