Sachin Tendulkar means more to India that me: Amitabh Bachchan

Sachin Tendulkar (left) with Amitabh Bachchan. Photo courtesy: Bollywoodlife.com

Nov 9, 2013

Bolywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan said that Sachin Tendulkar is the biggest icon of India and he means more to the people of the country than he does.

In a show on CNN IBN, Amitabh said that Tendulkar is a much bigger icon than him. “I’m nowhere near what Sachin Tendulkar means to India. He embodies the identity of the country in many ways. There are many countries you identify with some kind of achievement, some kind of historical or geographical achievement. Like when you talk of Japan, you talk of cameras. When you talk of Brazil, you talk of football. When you talk about India, you suddenly think of Sachin Tendulkar.”

The actor said that he felt a sense of emptiness when Tendulkar announced his retirement from the game.

“There are certain individuals, certain people, there are certain circumstances in everyone’s lives that are prominent. And when they decide to move away, you feel a sense of emptiness. You feel that a part of your existence that is moved away. That is what I felt when Sachin Tendulkar retired,” he said.
Comparing the popularity of cinema and cricket in the country, Amitabh said that cricket is what Indians proudly identify themselves with.

He said, “If you were to go around in India and do a poll, I feel you would find out that cricket is more popular than cinema in the country. If you were to do a poll and identify what the people of the country relate to more – cinema or cricket – you would get it all in favour of cricket.”

Talking about the comparisons between Tendulkar and Don Bradman, Amitabh said that both are legends of their respective times and have a special place respectively for themselves.

“Don Bradman was a big name in cricket during his times. He is an iconic figure even now. But with changing times and advent of technology in the game, Sachin’s contribution is no less.”

Talking of the importance of Tendulkar to the common Indian cricket fan, he said, “There is a great sense of confidence when you realise that Sachin is there in the team and will be playing, irrespective of what he does or how he performs. There is a voluntary feeling within you that Sachin is there so everything will be alright”.

The actor also praised the Little Master for his childlike zest towards the game. Amitabh said, “He has a childlike approach towards the game. Someone who has mastered the craft and still wants to keep learning and improving, is unbelievable.”