Sachin Tendulkar inaugurates pavilion named after him at boyhood club
It was an emotional moment for cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar as he walked into the MIG Cricket Club premises in Bandra on Thursday morning.
After all, this is the club where he first played cricket as a young boy and on Thursday, he was here to inaugurate the pavilion named after him. “I am really excited because we are standing in the ground where the pavilion has been named after me. That makes me feel special,” Tendulkar said.
As a kid, he would often use the MIG Club ground as a shortcut to reach his school. Back then, he did not even dream of having a pavilion named after him. “Me and all the friends would think that someday we should have the opportunity of playing on a proper pitch. Before that, we played tennis ball matches in our building but never on a proper field. This is the first proper ground, where I played cricket. After that, my career started at Shivaji Park, so it is good to have a pavilion named after me.”
“If somebody [had] asked me 37-38 years ago that a pavilion will be named after you and it [would] have your photographs inside, I would have been ecstatic. The feeling hasn’t changed. I am really happy and ecstatic. The gesture from MIG members is really special,” an emotional Tendulkar said.
The 46-year-old, who also launched the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy (TMGA) camp here, recalled an interesting anecdote from his early days when he played a single-wicket tournament match against his elder brother, Ajit, at the MIG ground.
That was the only time they played against each other.
“At that time MIG had a single-wicket tournament and in that tournament I played. Along with me, Ajit also played. We were both in different pools and were progressing in our pools and eventually in semifinals we met each other. It was on this ground and I think that was the only time we played against each other officially. We didn’t want to beat each other and he said you do batting first and I started batting.”
“He started deliberately coming up with no-balls and wide balls and I responded to that. I deliberately did defence. Nobody does defence in single-wicket tournaments. Just that one look conveyed everything. He said you just bat. This is what happens when your older brother tells you — you have to follow the instructions. And which continues even today, so I had to do that, and I won and he lost the game. Both of us wanted the same results. Unfortunately, the result went in my favour. I reached the finals.” Tendulkar recollected.
‘Learning never stops’
While the Master soaked in nostalgia, he was happy to train the young cricketers at the TMGA. “I am just excited to be back on the cricket field. Learning never stops, no matter at what stage of your career [you are in], no matter how many years and days you have spend in the cricket field, learning never stops. It gives an opportunity to share our experiences and also gives them a chance to learn something. I am excited,” Tendulkar said.
He also had a piece of advise for the younger generation. “The whole idea of the camp is to teach them (the kids) how to play cricket, how to approach matches and share my experiences with them. I have always believed that it is not just about playing good cricket, but it is important to become a good person in life. That’s how my parents brought me up,” he said.
That is something he plans to share with the kids. “Playing a match, opposition will lower their values and principles and find shortcuts. That should not become a reason for you guys to lower your values. You should stick to your values, take the right path. Along the way, there are going to be [hurdles]. Even when we drive a car, there are signals and speed breakers and we have to respect that, slow down and again accelerate. That is how life is, and that is how any sport is. There are going to be challenges and obstacles but we are going to prepare so that the challenges and obstacles are dealt in the best possible manner,” the Master stated.
The summer coaching camp will be held at the MIG Cricket Club till Sunday. Along with Tendulkar, former cricketers like Vinod Kambli will also be training the participants. From May 9-12, the camp will be held at DY Patil Sports Centre in Navi Mumbai.