Monday, March 26

After 22 years, I know what I should be doing, says Sachin

I've achieved a number of personal milestones, but that's not why I started to play, says Sachin Tendulkar.

The Telegraph: Sachin 'The Master' Tendulkar reserved the 6 pm slot, on Tuesday, for an exclusive with The Telegraph at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon in Dhaka. The interview began half-an-hour behind schedule as he hadn't finished his workout in the hotel's gym and also had to oblige fans who'd been waiting for him to emerge after sweating it out on the treadmill and doing the weights. The gentleman that he is, Sachin more than made up by taking questions for close to an hour. There was a forced break, for a few minutes, as Sachin got a belated congratulatory call.

The following are excerpts:

You were mentioning that, nowadays, you actually wake up stress-free...

Absolutely, for a year I couldn't... Life in that respect has changed, has changed in a big way. My family had also been under so much stress.

Having raised the bar to such an extent, what next?

I've achieved a number of personal milestones, but that's not why I started to play...To repeat what I've said a number of times, the earliest dream cricket-wise was to play for India and, later, to be a World Cup winner...Milestones have come along the way. Look, you can't wake up one morning and say that today is the day when I will get a hundred. That's not the way cricket goes.

But with nothing left to prove, how will you keep challenging yourself?

I didn't take to cricket to prove something. Playing for India continues to motivate me and, as long as I remain motivated, I don't really have to look at a fresh challenge. Being motivated is the key.

Surely, like Sir Donald Bradman's Test average of 99.94, your record of 100 International hundreds won't be bettered...

(Smiles) I haven't thought about it...The belief is that records are meant to be broken.

A few days have gone by...Today, how do you look back on the 100th hundred?

I do feel different...Instead of wishing me for that hundred, people are now congratulating me! I could have done with the people not talking (only) about the 100th hundred for a year, the time it took me to get it.

It's not that you hadn't been batting well...

Yes, but only a hundred would've satisfied the people.

Y! Special - Sachin Tendulkar: 100 not out
'I'd never take my critics seriously'

For the first time, perhaps, you looked at the bat instead of gazing upwards on getting a hundred. You looked up only later (to thank God and to remember his late father). Why?

Probably because my first thought was that even after scoring 99 International hundreds, it was tough to get one more...People had been giving advice left, right and centre, but scoring a hundred is never easy...I mean, I had to wait a year to move from 99 to 100...There were occasions when I felt that people had forgotten that I'd scored 99 hundreds. The attention had only been on when I'd get one more.

Did that upset you or make you angry?

Well, I felt too many people were expressing too many opinions...That I should be doing this or should be doing that...After 22 years, I know what I should be doing. The 100th International hundred is a gentle reminder to those people...But don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that I've got back at certain people.

It's not that you don't care about your fans...

I do care for their sentiments, of course...I respect the fact that I have so many well-wishers, everywhere, and I value their support.

Of late, quite a few people had been advising you to retire from ODIs...Opinion polls were conducted...Did it bug you? After all, nobody told you when to make your debut, so why should they advise you on when to quit?

I didn't follow the polls and neither my family nor my well-wishers told me what others were saying (on the retirement issue)...My family and friends know that such things won't make me play better cricket...I'll play as long as I feel confident of delivering. I'll stop the day I feel I've lost that confidence. It's not about 'I' or about 'me'...It's about Indian cricket.

A day after the hundred, you told the media that you'd be acting in a selfish manner if you decided to quit ODIs immediately after getting to such a huge milestone...

Exactly. For that would mean the 'I' and the 'me' happen to be much more important, but that's not so.

Sachin Tendulkar with Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Wajid in Dhaka.Retirement is a very personal matter, isn't it?

It is.

Your first match after the 100th hundred was against Pakistan. How different did you feel?

My preparation was the same, my routine didn't change...Just because that hundred has been achieved, I can't go out and do what I want to do...I've got to play for the team.

But the pressure of getting that hundred was off...

It was, but the pressure of having to chase 330 was there! I couldn't think of anything else, that the (100th) hundred had already been realised or that it was a 'fresh' start for me. My concern was for the task at hand.

You've been a part of some truly memorable chases. Where would you place Sunday's win over Pakistan?

I don't like to rate or rank...But, yes, I was thrilled with our victory...Eventually, we won with so much to spare (13 balls remaining) and the level of satisfaction was very high. [Despite a swollen right hand, the result of a Nasir Jamshed hit, Sachin opened the innings and contributed 52.]

Young Virat Kohli played a tremendous hand (183 off 148 balls)...

Virat has matured in the last three-four years, has grown as a cricketer...I like the way he builds his innings and the way he absorbs pressure...Of course, there's a long way to go before he realises what he wants to achieve, but he has tremendous talent and is turning out to be so consistent. Virat has what it takes for a good cricketer to turn into a special one.

Besides asking youngsters to chase their dreams, what would be your advice to them?

Be sincere and honest, to yourself and to the game...There are bound to be tough phases, but don't look for shortcuts...Face those situations head on, as you'll then emerge a better cricketer. Above all, enjoy the game. That's very important.

What does it take to stay at the top?

(Smiles) Passion.

Despite being in the public eye for over 22 years, you're such a private person...

That's the way I am...Everybody is different...The way I look at things, the way I respond to situations, could be very different to others...I accept that...I do the things I want to do, react the way I want to, not because somebody wants me to behave in a particular manner. I respect others for the way they are and I should be allowed my space.

Do you keep a distance even with friends?

Not intentionally, never...But I'm different from X or from Y...I have friends and I have close friends, as it is with other individuals. I don't socialise much and, to me, my comfort level (in interacting with people) is important. There's no reason for me to be uncomfortable.

Cricket is a lot different today compared to 1989...Are you happy with the path its taking?

The changes, I think, have been good for the game...It's only when you try out something new that you'll know whether it's going to work or not. Like each team having two innings of 25 overs in ODIs instead of batting once only for 50 overs...If that's there, in case of a weather disruption, you could have a result on the basis of the two first innings...I've given my views in writing to the ICC and the BCCI.

After a period of some doubt, it appears that the 50-over game is back to its position of strength...

It's there to stay.

Is there a need to balance the mushrooming of T20 with the traditional formats?

Frankly, I haven't looked at the balancing factor...But the people are enjoying what they're getting.

The world too has changed in the past 22 years, from the time you made your Test debut in Karachi...

Arre, let's stick to cricket. What will I say on other things?

To get back to your 100th International hundred...What did your Mother tell you when you spoke to her that night?

She was, expectedly, very happy...Said she'd been praying...Like the rest of the family, my Mother had been stressed for a year, so it was a relief for her too...Unless a common man experiences something similar, he won't be able to appreciate what I and my family went through.

Finally...Are you disappointed that nobody from the family was present in Dhaka?

No...There have been other milestones which the family hasn't watched in person...You know it...My family doesn't keep travelling with me. Nobody was with me physically, but in a sense, they were still there. It's about the emotional bonding...Without the family's support, I wouldn't have got to where I have.

Source: Yahoo!

Friday, March 16

Sachin Tendulkar scores 100th international century

India's Sachin Tendulkar on Friday became the first batsman in history to score 100 international centuries, adding another milestone in his record-breaking career.
Tendulkar, who turns 39 next month, achieved the feat when he recorded his 49th one-day century in the Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. He has 51 Test hundreds.
The Mumbai batsman, who has compiled more Test and one-day runs than anyone in history, reached the record with a single, marking the moment with a modest glance to the sky while pointing to the Indian flag on his helmet.
Tendulkar is the most capped player in the history of the game with 188 Test and 462 one-day appearances since making his debut against Pakistan in Karachi in November, 1989.
Millions of fans in India and across the cricketing world endured an anxious year-long wait before Tendulkar finally reached the landmark in the four-nation tournament, the symbol of one-day supremacy in the continent.
He scored his 99th ton during a World Cup match against South Africa in Nagpur on March 12 last year, but failed to add to the tally on subsequent tours of England and Australia and a home series against the West Indies.
Former Australian captain Ricky Ponting is the second batsman on the all-time list with 71 international centuries.

Source: Yahoo!

Yuvraj wants cancer ordeal to end

Last month, Yuvraj tweeted that the tumour between his lungs was almost out of his system.

Yuvraj Singh tweeted this picture to his followers 

Calcutta (The Telegraph): Yuvraj Singh is on the verge of completing his most challenging innings yet. The 30-year-old, however, can’t wait for it to end.

The flamboyant left-handed batsman, currently undergoing chemotherapy in Boston for a rare germ cell cancer, took to Twitter to inform his well-wishers, on Tuesday, that his treatment was almost over.

“My last stretch 4 mor dys to go Can’t wait fr it to end Set me free dear lord,” Yuvraj tweeted.

Yuvraj’s Pune Warriors teammate, Murali Kartik, tweeted in reply: “Stay strong mate… He is looking after you… lots of prayers from all over india..see ya soon”.

Yuvraj went bald during the treatment, which will go on till the last week of March before the process of rehabilitation starts in April.

After being diagnosed with the illness, Yuvraj has not played competitive cricket since taking part in two of the three home Tests against the West Indies in November.

He has so far scored 8,051 runs in 274 one-dayers and 1,775 runs in 37 Tests since making his international debut in 2000.

During the treatment, Yuvraj had been paid a visit by the legendary Anil Kumble.

Yuvraj was quick to shower tributes on Rahul Dravid, after the latter announced his retirement.

“Legend has walked into the cricketing sunset. Privileged to share the dressing room with Jammy.” Yuvraj tweeted.

“Man with grit, determination and exemplary work ethic. his preparation never dipped his concentration never wavered."

“Example for generations to follow. U will be missed Dravid."

“Have a great retired life. Wishing you and your family best of health and happiness...”

Earlier Yuvraj tweeted that he was feeling “better” after receiving a message of support from cycling legend Lance Armstrong.

Armstrong, who was treated for testicular cancer, runs a foundation for cancer survivors. The 30-year-old Yuvraj is being treated for a rare form of cancer called seminoma.

“I want you to know that the entire LIVESTRONG team is here for you. We say it all the time, and truly believe in it: Knowledge is power, Unity is strength and Attitude is everything,” the message read.

The cyclist signed off the message with “Go Yuvi!! Livestrong.”

Yuvraj has been reading Armstrong’s 2000 autobiography It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life for inspiration.

Yuvraj had thanked Armstrong for his message. “Message from @lancearmstrong makes me feel better! Thank you lance, means a lot hope we can meet,” Yuvraj tweeted.

Last month, Yuvraj tweeted that the tumour between his lungs was almost out of his system. According to his doctor, the left-hander is expected to be back on the field in the first week of May.

“Its the truth every1 needs to face it. And have the courage to live the reality of life! Life is unpredictable. Highs and lows are part of it, and one needs to deal with them. That’s why Birla add is close to my heart.”

Yuvraj has never been short of motivation during his illness. “Of course everyday I look forward to come back and wear my india jersey my india cap and represent my country again.”

Earlier, replying to a post by Aussie legend Shane Warne, Yuvraj wrote: “hey you legend! Thanks mate, I’m doing good, staying positive! Hope you and family are well, cheers! 

Source: Yahoo!

Travel in high-speed double-decker from Bangalore to Chennai

Bangalore, March 14 (IANS) Denizens of this tech hub will soon have the privilege of travelling in an high-speed air-conditioned double-decker express to Chennai, covering a distance of about 360 km in a little over two hours.
Of the seven new express/mail trains Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi announced Wednesday for Karnataka in the 2012-13 rail budget, introduction of a daily non-stop AC double-decker express will be eagerly awaited as it will reduce the travel time between the two cities by three hours from the five hours the Shatabdi Express currently takes.
"Reducing travel time from Bangalore to Chennai by nearly three hours will be possible, as the double-decker express coaches are designed and built to run at 150 km per hour on upgraded tracks with no stoppages," a senior South Western Railway (SWR) official told IANS here.
Of the seven direct express/mail trains operated between the two cities, two are Shatabdis on six days a week, which run at 110 kmph, and two are inter-city trains that take over six hours due to their many halts.
"The double-decker express will be launched as soon as we get the new coaches and funds to upgrade the tracks, which currently enable Shatabdis to travel at 110 kmph," the official said on condition of anonymity.
The double-decker rakes, comprising eight stainless steel coaches and two power cars, are manufactured at the Rail Coach Factory at Kapurthala in Punjab.
"A double-decker coach can carry 128 passengers in comparison to 78 in a Shatabdi chair car, increasing the capacity by about 70 percent. With lower weight per commuter, the coaches are more energy efficient," the official pointed out.

Source: Yahoo!
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