Sachin Tendulkar is the quintessential nationalist who has sacrificed a lot for the country: Boney Kapoor

For Boney Kapoor (above) watching Sachin Tendulkar bat has become the best way to relax at the end of a hard day’s work © Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Mumbai: Apr 21, 2013

Renowned Bollywood producer Boney Kapoor described the joy of watching batting legend Sachin Tendulkar play while talking to Boria Mazumdar for a special edition of the Outlook magazine.  

Boney said: “There are certain sensations in life that we hope will never end. They can be called the pure, unadulterated joys of our existence which, unknowingly perhaps, make us smile. Sachin Tendulkar has been one such sensation for us Indians. I have been privileged to see him play for the entire 24 years of his career. For professional reasons and on account of my own work pressures, I haven’t been able to make it to many of his games — but it’s with deep pleasure that I state that I have indeed seen some of his most memorable innings from the stands. In the 2002 England series, for example, I was there to see India win at Headingley, one of our best away Test match wins of all time. And in scripting the win, Sachin and Sourav Ganguly had toyed with the English bowlers towards the end of the third day’s play, which I had thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the stands at Leeds.”

Boney also spoke about Tendulkar’s epic knock against Australia at Sharjah in 1998. “The innings that I watched ball for ball on television but still rue for not having watched from the ground is his Sha­rjah knock against Australia in 1998. Interestingly, my wife Sridevi and I had been there for almost all the major tournaments in Sharjah barring this one, the tri-series involving India-Australia-New Zealand in April 1998.”

Boney said he says he remember each and every stroke that Sachin played. “In fact, I jokingly tell my wife that bef­ore this innings of his, watching Sunil Gavaskar bat was my stressbuster. Post the desert storm innings, I had to change my brand of stressbuster! For watching Sachin bat has become the best way to relax at the end of a hard day’s work.”

Like most Tendulkar fans, Boney remembers Tendulkar’s debut series vividly. “The other innings of his that I’ll always remember is from his debut series against Pakistan in 1989. In a rain-curtailed One-Day International, which was subsequently reduced to 20-over-a-side, he hit Abdul Qadir for four sixes in one over. That a 16-year-old could accomplish such a thing was simply unbelievable. Especially, since each of the shots were genuine cricketing shots. There was little doubt in my mind that here was someone who was blessed with extraordinary talent and ability,” Boney said.

Boney felt that Tendulkar has made a lot of sacrifices to shape his career in the last two decades. “He [Sachin Tendulkar] is the quintessential Indian nationalist who has performed for the country tirelessly for two decades and has always placed country above self. In the process, he has sacrificed seeing his children grow up, sacrificed quality family time, sacrificed a life of leisure and luxury and finally sacrificed his own joys and desires. This was best borne out when he answered the nation’s call and went back to play the 1999 World Cup within a week of his father passing away. And in his comeback match against Kenya, which I so vividly remember, he scored a 140 not out for India, an innings of the highest pedigree in terms of the determination involved,” Boney said.

“It is no surprise that Sachin can carry on playing cricket at the highest level with distinction at 40 when practically all of his contemporaries have moved on in life. He was, and always will be, different—a man born to serve the game with distinction and dedication,” he added.