In a stirring farewell speech at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, maestro Sachin Tendulkar thanked many of those who had played an important role in shaping his glorious cricket career.
Overcome by emotion, Tendulkar was in tears after the India-West Indies second Test match, but gathered himself and returned to receive several awards. The crowd cheered him all through.
Here are some excerpts from his speech:
On his father: “The most important person in my life, and I have missed him a lot since 1999 when he passed away, my father. He gave me freedom at the age of 11 and told me that [I should] chase my dreams, but make sure you do not find short cuts.”
Brother Ajit: “We have lived this dream together. He was the one who sacrificed his career for my cricket. He spotted the spark in me. And it all started from the age of 11 when he took me to Achrekar sir, my coach, and from thereon my life changed.”
Wife Anjali: “The most beautiful thing happened to me was in 1990 when I met my wife Anjali. Those were special years and it has continued and will always continue that way.”
His teammates: “We see it on the mega-screen, Rahul, Laxman, Sourav, and Anil, who is not here, and my teammates right here in front me. You are like my family away from home. I have had some wonderful times with you. It is going to be difficult not to be part of the dressing room, sharing those special moments.”