Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
“We spent a lot of time over dinner listening to music, talking cars – the friendship and respect we have for each other is what I will take away from him”
Former Australia spin king Shane Warne has revealed that India veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar “was the best batsman I ever played against”.
Warne’s comments come after he watched Tendulkar score 74 runs against the West Indies in his hometown of Mumbai in what could be the last international innings of his illustrious 24-year career.
“We played against each other for 20 years, but away from the cricket he’s very humble, very softly spoken,” Warne told Sky Sports News. “We spent a lot of time over dinner listening to music, talking cars – the friendship and respect we have for each other is what I will take away from him.
“As a cricketer, he was the best batsman I ever played against. You can look at his skills and his numbers, but it was the way he did it, with the expectation of a nation. The way he handled himself on and off the field, he was a real credit to the game, himself and India.
“Everyone will miss him. I don’t think the bowlers will miss him, but the world of cricket will miss him.”
Warne added that he was honoured to have witnessed one of cricket’s most historical and iconic moments.
“What people who haven’t been here don’t understand is the passion for the game,” Warne said. “You have to remember there are a billion people here and they all love cricket. The passion for the game is amazing. You couldn’t hear yourself think. It was an amazing atmosphere and it was special to say you were here for his final innings.
“For the Little Master to go out and bat like he did today, it was like winding the clock back. It was like watching him all those terrible years ago when he used to smash us all over the park.
“It was fantastic. I think even the West Indies wanted him to get a hundred. He was superb and we’re all going to miss him.
“If he does bat again it will have been a good Test match but I don’t think he will. This was the occasion to celebrate the man for being so good and for what he has given the game.
“He’ll be pretty proud, happy and relaxed that he got 70-odd today.”