Sport

No spectators, no energy: Tendulkar

Fan is king! Sachin Tendulkar says that the impact of crucial moments will be lost if there are no spectators to enjoy the action.  

With the world in a sombre mood due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Sachin Tendulkar is in no mood to celebrate his 47th birthday on Friday. The Bharat Ratna opened up to The Hindu about the biggest challenge for the sporting fraternity in the post-pandemic world. Excerpts:

Is this going to be the most unusual birthday for you?

I won’t be celebrating my birthday this year. Given the circumstances, I don’t think it’s a right time to celebrate anything.

How do you see sport in general, cricket in particular, in the post-pandemic scenario?

Whenever it opens up, it’s going to be a fresh start. It’s not physical but mental adjustment for all the sportspersons. The players are training at home and trying to keep themselves in good shape. As and when we overcome this challenge, sport will be back to being competitive. I believe once a sportsman, always a sportsman, so you would want to go out and compete hard. For that, you’ll require physical as well as mental preparation, which will happen.

The question I am hearing a lot about is whether the matches would be the same with empty stands. And empty stands will surely lack energy in the stadium because players are used to crowd’s response. When it’s a packed stadium and a batsman hits a cracking shot or a bowler picks up a wicket, you are kicked with the roar of the crowd celebrating that boundary or a six or the crucial wicket. That element of energy will be missing without any doubt.

How challenging will it be, especially for an Indian cricketer, to make the mental adjustment of going back to the days of domestic cricket while playing without spectators?

It’s easier said than done because you are used to playing cricket in a certain style, with certain response. That response is also important. Imagine if India is playing some nation and we have done well and you want to celebrate that victory, that occasion. For that, you need a full house. If there are no people to celebrate, that moment’s importance won’t be as much. Can you imagine a match between Federer and Nadal on an empty Centre Court at Wimbledon? It’s going to be a very very different experience which no one is used to.

With no live sport on TV, fans have been forced to watch replays of some of your epic innings. Do you watch re-runs of those games?

I sometimes watch. Those are some great memories and I enjoy it. Right since my starting days, me and my brother (Ajit) would sit down and watch those video tapes to analyse. Be it a hundred or an early dismissal, we always wanted to find some areas to improve on. Nowadays, since the brother is not here, sometimes I just sit back and cherish those memories.

Which is your most favourite innings to revisit?

I would say the 2003 World Cup match versus Pakistan. It was a high-voltage game, with the kind of build-up it had had. It’s a wonderful match to revisit and I enjoy playing it back sometimes.


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Printable version | Sep 24, 2021 9:59:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/no-spectators-no-energy-tendulkar/article31418632.ece

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