Sachin Tendulkar opens up about life beyond cricket, says joining PM Modi’s ‘Swach Bharat’ campaign was a major step

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New Delhi | Updated: March 02, 2017 5:31 PM

The legendary cricketer who is also known as the 'God of Cricket' in India, Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer in India to join the social media platform Linkedin on Thursday as an influencer.

sachin tendulkar, sachin, tendulkar, sachin tendulkar retirement, sachin tendulkar retires, sachin tendulkar kerala blasters, sachin tendulkar unicefSachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer in India to join the social media platform Linkedin on Thursday as an influencer. (Source: PTI)

The legendary cricketer who is also known as the ‘God of Cricket’ in India, Sachin Tendulkar became the first cricketer in India to join the social media platform Linkedin on Thursday as an influencer. In his first post on the site, he opened up about Sunil Gavaskar’s influence on his life, his step to join Swach Bharat campaign and many other things. “Sunil Gavaskar, one of my heroes and a former cricketer, once said that he made up his mind to quit the game when he found himself checking the clock, to see how much time there was left for the lunch and tea intervals. Suddenly I knew exactly what he meant. My mind and my body were telling me the same thing. Maybe, it’s time to hang up my boots. I also remembered the words of Billy Jean King, at Wimbledon a few years ago – you will know for sure when to go, it will come from inside you, don’t let the world decide when you have to retire,” Sachin said about his decision to retire from cricket.

He added, “It was October 2013 during one of the Champions League games in Delhi. My mornings would start with a gym workout, a routine I had been following for 24 years. But that morning in October, something had changed. I realised that I had to force myself to wake up and go about my day. I knew that the gym training was a critical part of my cricket – something that had been my life for 24 years. Yet, there was reluctance. Why? Were these signs…signs that I should stop? Signs that the game that has been so dear to me, would no longer be a part of my daily routine?”

Talking about how his life has changed post-retirement, master blaster said, it is his second innings in life where all he is aiming for is retirement. “My first innings was about chasing my dreams, the second one is about satisfaction. I want to give back to the game, that has made me what I am, to society and to the less fortunate. The scope has changed but the objective and drive of doing my best remains. I’m still learning, still discovering new things, meeting new people, and contributing in my own way, to make things better. One of the highlights of my post-cricket years has been the adoption of Puttamraju Kandriga, a village in Andhra Pradesh. Seeing the village don a new look after two years of intensive infrastructural development, had a joy that can’t be put into words,” he said.

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Other than adopting the village, Sachin has been associated with many other projects which he believes are an important part of his life now. “A project called ‘Spreading Happiness’, that I am involved in, provides electricity to deprived areas. Arrangements to tap solar energy have been made in over 73 villages and nearly 25,000 people have been impacted by the same. The mission to ‘light up’ homes across the length and breadth of the country will continue. Joining hands with Shri Narendra Modi, our honourable Prime Minister, for the ‘Swacch Bharat’ (Clean India) campaign was another step in this direction. It was also in tune with my role as the UNICEF Ambassador for Hygiene and Sanitation. The campaign’s success makes me confident that India will adopt the cause and adapt to it as well.”

Sachin, who is a part of IPL franchise Mumbai Indian’s team management said that he is continuously looking to explore opportunities beyond the field of cricket. “These days, I’m thinking beyond cricket. ‘Kerala Blasters’, the football team I co-own in the Indian Super League has given me many proud moments. The sea of yellow jerseys filling up the stadium, the deafening sound of around 60,000 fans cheering for KBFC is an overwhelming feeling in itself. Lastly, but probably the most important, are the changes in my personal life. I now have more time to give to my family, to travel, to pursue my passions and to focus on things that are close to my heart, ones that I can now explore. The love and affection from fans have remained unchanged, the chants still resonate and appear wherever I travel, which is amazing and something for which I am eternally grateful,” he said.

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