Sachin Tendulkar has made a clarion call for cricket to go where it has never been before – get people to play, and love, the sport as it is done in top cricket playing countries.
In a first ever ICC Google+ hangout, Sachin Tendulkar talked about how strong cricketing nations need to help the International Cricket Council (ICC) expand the reach of cricket globally and encourage more and more nations to participate.
Interacting and answering queries from fans from across the world over the hangout, the cricketing legend spoke of his journey from a ball boy to becoming the ambassador of the game. Here’s the full conversation:
Sachin: It’s a fantastic atmosphere and I thoroughly enjoyed my first time experience, I remember the last time I saw a World Cup match when I was a ball boy. So from a ball boy to becoming an Ambassador is a privilege and am really happy about it.
Absolutely, and what you make of India’s performance today, 307, winnable?
Sachin: It’s a very good total and I think the games are won or lost in the second half and we need to finish strong and I think the plans will be put up in place. So you plan and then you go out and execute. So it’s the time for execution.
Host: Absolutely we saw the bowlers can do like they did against Pakistan but nevertheless as Sachin is here for the first ever ICC Google+ hangout so it’s the time to hear from you guys. The fans have a plenty of questions on the hangout on the line as well and we will also have questions from Twitter and Google+ as well. Absolutley flooded with it. So let’s take our first question:
Question: We have seen some brilliant performances from the qualifying countries. What do you think teams like Ireland and Afghanistan can do in this World Cup 2015.
Sachin: I think it’s important that the top teams play against all these teams as much as possible and not just during the World Cups. To play against them every four years I think we need to look into it and look to encourage them more by making them play international games against top sides. You see it has been a history from many World Cups; these sides have always come up with surprises. So West Indies got beaten earlier you know. I feel there is potential and these guys just need that potential to express their talent. This tournament is really gonna be exciting as the time goes by, you will see some exciting matches played.
Question: Are you concerned on the fact that ICC has said that in the next World Cup, we will just have 10 teams competing as compared to 14 here, it seems to be one of the few world competitons really which is getting less in size, if you look at things like FIFA world Cup expanded over the years?
Sachin: As I said earlier, the game needs to globalize, we need to encourage more and more teams to participate, obviously not at the cost of dropping the standard of play but we need to look at how we can get these guys to raise their standard of playing and I think the standard of playing is only going to raise when they start playing against the top sides. For that sake, I feel even if the top sides send their A- teams, India A could tour Zimbabwe, Bangladesh or Ireland, Scotland and all these teams they need encouragement. For UAE say, Australia-A or New Zealand-A team can go and play with UAE get them that encouragement.
Question: Were you India’s best leg spinner that India had since you used to turn the ball really well?
Sachin: I used to jokingly tell my team mates that if I get landing permission then I will continue to ball. Sometimes I found it really difficult to find the right spots and I enjoyed bowling you know and it happened to me from my school days. In Net practice also, I would be bowling seamers off spin or leg spin. It was all about enjoying cricket and I continue to do so at international level as well. Because I practiced everything at school level, I was able to experiment a little bit at the international level as well.
Question: You really did well against SA in Hero Cup?
Yes, I bowled the last over, yes I bowled some leg cutters and the last one was a straight up Yorker.
Question: Sachin, how much of yourself do you see in Virat considering both of you have a lot of similarities. You were 26 when you hit 22 centuries. Virat is also 26 and he has also hit 22 centuries. How much do you of yourself in Virat and what’s your advice for him?
Sachin: It’s really nice to know such stats from you because I was not aware of all this. Each player I think likes to have his own identity and so was the case with me. I always liked to have my own identity and I didn’t like comparisons. Each player in that era, if he targets to be one of the great players to have played in that era, then I think you would be doing a decent job. It is really difficult but you can certainly try and have realistic targets and then try and live up to your own expectations.
And that is what I will try and tell Virat as well. He is passionate about Cricket and he loves to play for India and I am sure he will continue to work hard the way he has been and something that he will give us a reason to smile for number of years.
Question: Sachin you are great sport fan, be it football, Tennis and a whole of sports and there has been some great number 10. You know you got Maradonna, Pele list goes on. Is there any specific reason that you chose number 10?
Sachin: I chose number 10 because my surname starts from number 10 and instead of writing Ten on my cricketing gear so just to keep it simple I wrote 10 and that became my ODI number. Other than that there was no other reason.
Question: Indian Cricket will always be known for their great batsman. Why can’t India produce some quality bowlers? How can India have say a Tendulkar like genius in bowling?
Sachin: We really had some bowlers in the recent past, and I think to be able to achieve what Kapil Dev or Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh. Zaheer as you know gone close to taking 300 wickets. Then the spin greats of India, Bishen Singh Bedi, Chandrashekhar, Prasanna, Venkat Raghavan all these guys. You know we have talent but you are goanna see these type of bowlers over time. I takes time, it will take around 7-8 years for somebody to mature and to consistently perform at that level. It’s not easy, it’s not something that will happen overnight so once we have identified the talent, we need to be persistent and find all the ways of encouraging that bowler and making sure that he is following the right training programmes. With the number of matches being played right now and when you get out of action, to return to your form, it’s a really tough job and it really needs a lot of efforts.
So Sachin you shared a lot of interesting insights and experiences and it was really awesome to have you on the first ever hangout by ICC with Google+.
By: Muhammad A Raafi