Sachin Tendulkar's autobiography is titled 'Playing It My Way' © Yogen Shah
Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography is titled ‘Playing It My Way’ © Yogen Shah

Nov 5, 2015

Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of the launch of the Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar‘s autobiography, ‘Playing It My Way’ in Mumbai on Wednesday.

Sachin about telling son Arjun to play his school game during his last Test: If he wants to be a cricketer, he should play and not watch.

7.50 PM:

Sachin Tendulkar: Somebody told me I could write a book on medicine. As sportsmen, you have niggles and you learn to bat with it. I was batting at Mumbai in 2004 when I had tennis elbow. I prayed to god to help me not break down. I had a painkiller and had bitten it.

Sachin Tendulkar: Achrekar sir reprimanded when my name first came in paper. I had scored 24 and then someone said we can add six could be added so that my name would come in newspaper. Achrekar sir told me that if I wanted my name in newspaper, I should do it myself.

Sachin Tendulkar: After school hours, I would practice in the nets in his club. Our senior team was playing Harris Shield final in Wankhede. Achrekar sir reprimanded me for not playing a match and coming to support the team. He told me ” you should not be clapping for others. They should clap for you”

Sachin Tendulkar: I remember being a ball boy during the 1987 World cup. I was asked to see how the players were preparing. Gavaskar invited me to the dressing room.

7.40 PM: Sachin Tendulkar releases the book, presents a copy to coach Ramakant Achrekar alongwith daughter Sara.

Viv Richards (via video): So much can be said about individuals who in my opinion will achieve so much. I doubt in my life I will see that again. It is a benchmark for young batsmen. That is an example.

7.10 PM: Tendulkar’s wife Anjali and brother Ajit Tendulkar and come onto the stage…

Anjali: It’s pressurising to sit here and talk in front of so many people. Sachin always challanged me to bat in front of a packed house against a fast bowler. This is more pressurising. [On first meeting with Sachin] I had no interested in cricket. I ran out. I was studying medicine. I was in England when he was also there and my uncle called me to meet the cricketers. My dad wanted to meet me this guy called Sachin.

Ajit Tendulkar: Before taking him to the coach I had seeen him playing in the society. I was convinced and took him to the coach. At that age I was very impressed. Bowler always questions and Sachin always had the answers. I used to watch him from the balcony and I could see him in pressure.

Ajit Tendulkar didn’t allow Sachin Tendulkar to eat duck because he heard some cricketers ate that and go it out on zero.

 

Sachin: My sister had gone to Kashmir and I used that bat for sometime.

Ajit: [On his suggestion to not let Sachin play shots that were getting him out] The way he was getting out, there was a different manner. I thought it was playing on his mind. The quicker the runs the better. He would first think of scoring and not defending. I suggested to him to stay long.

Sachin Tendulkar: I had a long chat with John Wright and with Ajit over the phone. Ajit told me that I would get out and the bowlers had not got me out previously. I then decided not to play the cover drive…

Anjali Tendulkar: The first time I went to Sachin’s house, I went as a journalist. People at his home were peeking from the curtain. Sachin was skeptical, he said, ‘you are a girl how can you come to my house?’. We used to communicate a lot through letters.

Anjali Tendulkar: Sachin wanted me to go to his house and talk to his parents about our engagement.

Anjali Tendulkar:  Ajit called and informed me about his father’s death. I went to his hotel late on the night. To tell him [Sachin Tendulkar], it was one of the most difficult things I had to do. I called up Ajay Jadeja and one more cricketer to ensure they are there at Sachin’s door and he is not disturbed.

Sachin Tendulkar: So many things ajit has done for me, I only realised after I retired. Earlier, he would travel with me and would be in touch with me. We have lived this dream together. Whenever I went to bat, I knew he was there with me mentally. Whatever I say and how much I described, it is not enough.

 

The bats used by Sachin Tendulkar during his career.  (Photo courtesy: H Natarajan on Instagram)
The bats used by Sachin Tendulkar during his career. (Photo courtesy: H Natarajan on Instagram)

7.00 PM: Talking about the coaches… 

VVS Laxman: You want a good frame of mind while batting, representing the country. If you don’t enjoy, you won’t play well. The year 2006 was the toughest for me as far as dressing room is concerned.

Sachin Tendulkar: I agree with Laxman that the atmosphere was not good. The atmosphere has to be good. The envrioment was negative. I felt if we traveled withoit that [Greg Chappell], it would have been better. We seniors would have managed the team.”

Rahul Dravid: As captain, 2007 was tough.

Sourav Ganguly: Not qualifying world cup was the toughest. We had a good side then. But good things happened later. We won in England and that was satisfying.

6.46 PM: Sachin Tendulkar comes to the stage wearing India blazer. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid are there with him.

Sachin Tendulkar: I’ve not seen anyone play Shane Warne against the turn and on the rise as consistently as Laxman. People talk about Multan all time..

Rahul Dravid: Everytime someone asks a question about Multan, had I asked a rupee I would have been a millionaire. Over a long time there will be disagreements. There are good memories and we all are still friends.

Sachin Tendulkar: There are disagreements that happen. But that does not mean we fight and stop talking to each other.

VVS Laxman: Whether there were agreements or disagreements, but it was all for the good of the team.

Sachin: Tendulkar: We were playing Guwahati. Shoaib bowls a short ball and it hit me. I didn’t know then I had broken a rib. Dada kept saying “tu champion hai…tu khelega

 

VVS Laxman on Sachin Tendulkar’s 241 against Australia: I remember the chat we had at the end of the Melbourne Test match. We saw the statistics on screen. I told him he was playing well but getting out freakishly. What struck me during the 241 was his control. Never saw anyone control instincts so well. It was one of the most scintillating innings by him. The other one was against Pakistan at Chennai, where he overcame pain.

Rahul Dravid: There are great memories. When you are in it, you at competitive and may not have a chance to reflect. We had Viru [Virender Sehwag] as well.

Sourav Ganguly: I saw him first time in Indore for under 15 camp. What struck me was how much he wanted to play. Vasu had to take him out of the nets.  I remember he scored a century in an under 17 game at Kanpur, he was batting with a very heavy bat.

Sourav Ganguly: I was his roommate in MRF pace academy. One night I saw him get up, take a round and stop. I saw him the next night as well. I then couldn’t sleep…

VVS Laxman: I remember I played under 19 with Amol. He had a big picture of Sachin there. I met him at Nottingham and he was so humble. He comes and talks to juniors first. I remember my first Test, he was captain. He made me feel so comfortable. I was in awe of him and he made me comfortable.

Rahul Dravid: We conversed in lot of languages. We conversed a lot in Marathi. You didn’t need to chat with him once you batted with him for a long time.

Now Sachin Tendulkar speaks…

Sachin Tendulkar: With Sourav, we started playing…

He continues, “Before the Sydney knock, I was praciting the previous night. Before going in to night, I was really sleepy. I told Dada that I will sleep for some time. There was a dining table and I slept there.”

6.45 PM: Ravi Shastri on Tendulkar’s 148 at Sydney Cricket Ground: I had the best seat in the house. I could see greatness. He was becoming the youngest visiting centurion in Australia. I remember, he was batting on five and he had been sledged by Aussies. He came to me and he told me,’ let me get a ton and then Iwill show them’. What SCG saw was strokeplay of the highest order.

6.36 PM: Ravi Shastri on Tendulkar’s Test debut: I was at the massage table and he was out. He came to me and said “didn’t I hurry.” On debut he looked like a fish out of water. But a month later, he looked like a shark in water. We knew the ocean was his and it was for 24 hours.

Sunil Gavaskar: When Sachin was in the 90s approaching his 34th ton, I was put on commentary and spoke when the record was equalled. The producer was in tears and he told me my commentary was so natural.

6.26 PM: Now Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar and Ravi Shastri come up. Vasu Paranjpe joins in.

Sunil Gavaskar: Watching Sachin for the first time was like watching Shastri. At the Nirlon nets, Ravi was called to bowl. I saw Sachin play for the first time at the Wankhede. By then he was in Mumbai’s 30 probables. He was batting against Raju Kulkarni, whom we called Veda Thomson. We know that in the nets, bowlers won’t care for no balls. Raju was doing that. Watched Sachin then and was impressed by his backfoot straight drives.

Dilip Vengsarkar: Actually I didn’t take him to the India nets when he was 15, but Vasu Paranjpe did. I was India captain then and was playing Times Shield. Vasu came and told me we have to watch Sachin Tendulkar play. I went to CCI and Sacjin had played for his school and scored 300 and then bowled. He played his first game against Gujarat and scored a ton. Rest is history.

Vasu Parajpe: I sent him to MRF academy to bat. But he went to bowl.

6.15 PM: Boria Majumdar shares, “I will share three anecdotes. One is that, about a year back, in 2013, Sachin comes from England. Starts training with Atul Ranade, they cycle and they do a few laps. Sachin was on the floor after that as he could only see white. They called a autowala and took Sachin home.”

He continues, “In August 2008, he [Sachin Tendulkar] went to Germany for two back to back surgeries. Was adviced 10 weeks rest. But got back into action in about six weeks.”

Boria shares the third anecdote. “The third is that Anjali [Tendulkar] posed as a sports journalist to meet Sachin for the first time. Sachin had a couple of pieces of chocolate left from his England tour and he split it to share.”

“In Chennai, Sachin met a group of specially abled children. There was a child who had never walked and someone told him that he was Sachin’s biggest fan. Sachin agreed and arranged to play cricket and that kid stood up for the first time,” Majumdar continues.

Former India captain and Tendulkar’s long-time teammate Rahul Dravid is also among the personalities present at the event. Ravi Shastri, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar and VVS Laxman are also present.

The event is expected to be attended by many personalities across industries. So far, cricketers Amol Muzumdar, Atul Ranade, Shishir Hattangadi, Nilesh Kulkarni, Subroto Banerjee, Atul Bedade and Raju Kulkarni have reached the venue. Former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner and official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Rajiv Shukla is also there at the event.

The co-author of the autobiography, Boria Majumdar has also reached the venue. Anjali Tendulkar has also arrived at the venue.

Recently, Sachin Tendulkar attacked former India coach Greg Chappell, describing him as a “ringmaster” who imposed his ideas on players. Chappell made a vain attempt to replace skipper Rahul Dravid with Tendulkar months before the 2007 World Cup in West Indies, the master batsman says in his autobiography, PTI reported.

Dropping a bombshell, Sachin Tendulkar has disclosed that the then India coach Greg Chappell had made a “shocking” suggestion to him to take over India’s captaincy from Rahul Dravid months before the 2007 World Cup in West Indies.

 Complete coverage of Sachin Tendulkar’s autobiography Playing it My Way