Sachin Tendulkar and Sardar Singh
Sachin Tendulkar (L) and Sardar Singh

Hockey legend Sardar Singh has revealed that he called Sachin Tendulkar after being snubbed from the India squad for Commonwealth Games 2018 which helped him make a comeback. Sardar announced his international retirement thus drawing curtains on a stellar 12-year career.

After being dropped for the CWG, Sardar returned for the Champions Trophy 2018 as India returned home with a historic silver medal. The 32-year-old revealed he spoke with Tendulkar for 20 minutes during a tough phase where he was feeling low after being ignored.

“Sachin paaji has been an inspiration for me. He helped me a lot in the last 3-4 months, which were tough,” Sardar told reporters on Saturday. “There has never been an occasion when he didn’t answer my call. After I was dropped from CWG squad, I was very low and called Sachin paaji and asked him what he used to do when he scored 0.

Tendulkar advised the midfielder to watch his videos and stick to his natural game. “He counselled me for close to 20 minutes and advised me to forget about criticisms and stay motivated and focussed. He told me to analyse my old videos, play my natural hockey and it helped me in bouncing back,” he added.

Sardar revealed he wanted to play 2020 Olympics but after failing to win gold at the Asian Games 2018, he changed his plan.

“Initially, I had planned to play till 2020 Olympics but after failing to win the Asiad gold, the entire plan changed. I faced a lot of hardships in life but day-by-day it was becoming difficult for me to think over my game. Every night thinking about next day’s training, about passes not going well started taking a toll on me mentally,” he said.