Sachin Tendulkar touched upon the assistance extended by Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) at every step in his career. The Indian maestro was speaking during a function at the MCA Kandivali complex, to be renamed ‘Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana’ in his honour.
“Nothing is possible without preparation. The MCA have made training facilities available for practice each time I asked them. All I had to do was make a call and everything was ready when I reached there.”
The Indian and West Indies squads, in Mumbai to play the second Test of the series at Wankhede stadium this week, were also present.
“It feels strange to be here, seeing an institution being named after me. I am not used to this,” reacted Tendulkar, whose humility amidst great deeds goes a long way into acceptance as cricket’s ambassador.
“Sharad Pawar (current MCA president) announced that the complex will be available for any young cricketer without any restrictions. I hope the players make use of this.”
Sachin mentioned the benefits of the MCA indoor stadium at Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) in the monsoons.
“Earlier, I used to prepare outdoors when it was raining. It was fun doing so with friends.”
Tributes from Dilip Vengsarkar, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Rahul Dravid and Lalchand Rajput were flashed on the giant screen.
Srinath said, “We need Sachin to continue in the game in some capacity, even cricket administration, because the sport needs achievers like him.”
Kumble and Dravid spoke of the pride they felt playing alongside India’s most popular cricket icon. Dhoni and Darren Sammy too were called upon stage for the felicitation.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chauhan and Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu also spoke.
An audio-visual showcasing Tendulkar’s rise from a Mumbai youngster to a giant on the world stage was telecast, apart from a cultural show featuring songs sung by Kishore Kumar.
Tendulkar’s first name was chosen by his late father Ramesh in memory of composer Sachin Dev Burman.
The maestro’s taste in music changed with time, though headphones remained a constant fixture along with his cricket gear right through a career spanning 24 action-packed years.