Oct 29 2013: At the end of Day Two, favourites Mumbai might still have been left with lots to do in their opening round Ranji encounter against Haryana. But that didn’t stop them from indulging in a small farewell party to celebrate what could well be Sachin Tendulkar’s final evening in a Mumbai dressing-room.
The event was organised in a confined hall next to the pavilion with Nitin Dalal, joint-secretary of the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA), who had flown to Delhi before driving to Lahli specially for this, having made all the arrangements.
The gathering commenced with a brief speech from Dalal, who then presented Tendulkar with a bouquet and asked all the members of the team, including the support staff, to share their experiences with the noted 40-year-old veteran. “We gave Sachin a farewell today. It was an emotional evening for all of us. Everybody was sad that the day has finally come where we won’t see him again in Mumbai colours. Some of them got very emotional while talking about their Sachin moments,” Dalal told The Indian Express.
Mumbai captain, Zaheer Khan, is learned to have said that be wanted his long-time teammate to score at least two centuries in his remaining five innings if not five in all. Ajinkya Rahane, meanwhile spoke about the day when he first took guard with Tendulkar whereas Abhishek Nayar recalled how a session with the great during his bad patch in 2008 had ended up as the turning point of his career.
Former India opener Wasim Jaffer is supposed to have appreciated Tendulkar’s exploits on the field while insisting that the most capped international cricketer was also a great human being, despite all the fame and adulation. Team physio Niranjan Pandit revealed that Tendulkar even possessed a sharp knowledge of physiotherapy too. Some couldn’t help let their emotions get the better of them, especially the younger ones who reiterated that they never thought they would be playing alongside their hero one day.
Tendulkar, who will retiring post his 200th Test next month, started off by thanking the MCA for the support they have given him since his under-15 days. “I chased my dreams and did the hard work required. It is always important to have dedication and keep working hard. Whatever I have achieved in my life is through hard work,” Tendulkar told his team mates after they were done speaking about him.
Tendulkar said that being humble even after you have tasted paramount success is a piece of advice he gives his son, Arjun, every single day. That success and failure is part of every individual’s life, and humility helps you maintain a balance. “I always tell Arjun to prepare hard because your preparation will take you to success. I feel a match doesn’t start at 9:30 am ‚ÄĒ it starts way before that. One should plan before going to bat. I always planned my practice so that when I walk to the crease I’m ready to tackle any situation,” Tendulkar told his teammates.
“I have only five innings left in my career. I don’t know how it will go but I will prepare myself the same way I have done for so many years,” he concluded.
Thank you for all that you have done: Dravid
Mumbai: It is irrelevant if Sachin Tendulkar comes up with big knocks or not in his swansong series but he surely deserves a good farewell, Rahul Dravid said. “I just hope he really enjoys the last two games and enjoys his cricket irrespective of whether he scores or not because that is irrelevant. I hope he has a lot of fun and those two matches will be two great occasions. I just want to wish him all the best and say thank you for all that he has done for Indian cricket,” Dravid said. “He is one player who has never let his standard come down… I would like that he does well in his last two Tests and signs off with a good performance.