Can’t believe life between 22 yards has come to end: Sachin
Mumbai: A teary-eyed Sachin Tendulkar Saturday brought the curtains down on his phenomenal career by giving a heart-warming speech to thank his family, coaches, teammates, friends and fans, saying it was hard to believe that his life between "22 yards in the last 24 years" has come to end.
Trying hard to control his emotions, Tendulkar had the Wankhede crowd spell-bound with a thanks-giving speech every word of which drew applause.
"Friends please settle down, I'll get more emotional! It's hard to believe my wonderful journey is coming to an end," Tendulkar said immediately after his 200th and final Test which India won by an innings and 126 runs.
Handed the microphone at the end of the presentation ceremony, the 40-year-old struggled to keep his composure as he took out a list of people to thank at the end of a remarkable journey.
"I have got a list of people to thank because sometimes I forget," he joked.
"The first is my father (Ramesh Tendulkar), who passed away in 1999. Without his guidance I wouldn't be standing in front of you. he said 'chase your dreams, don't give up, the path will be difficult.' I miss him today," said Tendulkar, who always looked heavenwards after every big knock in memory of his father.
Next in the list was his mother Rajni, who came to watch him for the first time in his farewell match and the other immediate family members.
"I don't know how she managed a naughty child like me. She just prayed and prayed from the day I started playing the game. For four years I stayed with my uncle and aunt when in school, they treated me like their own son," he said.
"My eldest brother Nitin doesn't like to talk much but he said, 'whatever you do, I know you will give 100 per cent'. My first cricket bat was presented to me by my sister Savita. It was a Kashmir willow. She still continues to fast while I bat," he said.
"Ajit my brother, We have lived this dream together. He sacrificed his career for me, he took me to (Ramakant) Achrekar sir first. Even last night he called me to discuss my dismissal. Even when I'm not playing we will still be discussing technique. If that hadn't happened, I would have been a lesser cricketer," he added.