India’s cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar is known for his down to earth approach and honesty as much as he is known for his batting skills. But, even this great man couldn’t resist but try and fool the umpire when his team was in a dire situation. Speaking at a commemorative function that was held at Mumbai Cricket Association’s (MCA) club house at BKC on the eve of Mumbai’s 500th Ranji trophy match at the Wankhede stadium against Baroda, Sachin remembered a moment from the 2000 Ranji Trophy semi-final against Tamil Nadu, where he had no other option but to fool the umpire in order to save his side.
In this match, Sachin had scored a memorable 233 with the tailenders No. 9 and No. 10 in a quest for first innings lead. Mumbai eventually won the match. “It has to be the semi-finals against Tamil Nadu. I think we were chasing 485 and Ashok Mankad was our coach. He kept everyone involved. He had a peculiar way of motivating everyone. He would call Vinod ‘Sir’. That was his way of motivating them,” the former Indian opener said, as per PTI.
When the last man Santosh Saxena came out to bat, Mumbai was still struggling. As one ball hit his pad, Sachin who was at the non-strikers’ end was quick to call it ‘not-out’, eventually influencing the umpire’s decision. “The last man was there, Santosh Saxena, and the first ball was a full toss that struck his pads. I said from the non-striker’s end ‘not out’ and the umpire gave not out,” he said.
“A lot of things happened during that game. At one moment, the ball stopped swinging and Robin Singh kept giving it to the umpires and asked for it to be changed. Finally it got changed and the ball started reversing. I stood two feet outside the crease and I knew some message would go across. Hemang Badani told the bowler munnadi’ (front in Tamil) and next ball I stood two feet inside the crease. Whatever he kept telling the bowler something, I would change. Whenever he said munnadi’, I would go back and vice-versa. Post-match, I told him, ‘by the way, I understand Tamil’,” he added while describing another moment from the match.