I am still disappointed that I couldn’t play against my ‘hero’ Sir Vivian Richards, admits Sachin Tendulkar

Image courtesy of: The Hindu

“He was (and still is) my hero, so it was disappointing that I could not play against him”

Veteran Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that he is still disappointed over the fact that he never got the opportunity to play against his “hero” Sir Vivian Richards.

Tendulkar also reminisced about how he went from being a ball boy in the 1987 World Cup to playing against some of the best names in the history of the game the next time the World Cup came around.

“I remember in 1987, I was a ball boy so it was a big transformation for me from being a ball boy to participating in the next World Cup. I still remember the group picture of teams in Sydney,” he said. “It was followed by a dinner at the Darling Harbour. It was an unbelievable experience with all the top players from the world in the room.”

During his maiden World Cup in 1992, Tendulkar, who was still a teenager at the time, scored 283 runs at an average of just over 47 and was named the Man of the Match in India’s two victories throughout the entire tournament, which came against Pakistan by 43 runs and Zimbabwe by 55 runs.

Tendulkar noted that it was “special” to play against legends such as Sir Ian Botham, Graham Gooch, Kepler Wessels, Imran Khan, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Desmond Haynes, Richie Richardson, Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose.

However, he still rues the fact that he never got to play against his idol.

“I was quite disappointed that Vivian Richards was not part of the West Indies squad,” Tendulkar said. “He was (and still is) my hero, so it was disappointing that I could not play against him.”

The ‘Little Master’ also stated that the 1992 World Cup paved the way for many newcomers who went on to become household names and legends of the game.

“I have to say Allan Donald was a big name then,” he said. “Everyone spoke about how good he was. Then there was Jonty Rhodes. His run out of Inzamam-ul-Haq was one of the highlights of the World Cup. Not many guys have seen a run out like that!

“I remember a new trend started in the tournament of opening the bowling with spin in the form of Dipak Patel. I don’t think it had happened earlier. I thought these were the guys who really made an impact. To play against them was always a wonderful challenge, which I enjoyed.”

Tendulkar also considers himself extremely fortunate to have had the honour of playing against some of the best all-rounders of the 1980s.

“There were some real big names and some of the world’s top all-rounders,” he said. “One thing I feel happy about is that I played against all of them: Richard Hadlee, Malcolm Marshall, Clive Rice, Kapil Dev, Imran Khan and Ian Botham. They were the best all-rounders the game had produced.

“Having been able to play against them I consider myself very fortunate. It was quite an experience to play those top guys.”

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