What’s the story?
India’s legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that he almost retired from the game after a disastrous 2007 ICC World Cup in West Indies before Sir Viv Richards and his brother Ajit Tendulkar convinced him not to call it a day and instead asked him to concentrate on winning the 2011 ICC World Cup.
The Master Blaster admitted that he was on the verge of retiring after the 2007 World Cup debacle and Sir Viv called him at the right time and changed his mind. On the other hand, his brother, Ajit, who is very influential in Sachin becoming a world-class batsman, motivated him about winning the World Cup in 2011 and that made Sachin train harder to end India's wait to win the World Cup.
“I was away when I got a call from Sir Viv Richards. He spoke to me for around 45 minutes — about the ups and downs in cricket. He stressed that I have plenty of cricket left in me and said, 'You are not going to retire now.' He had heard from a friend of ours that I was really depressed to a point that I was literally thinking of retiring.
“He told me that it's only a matter of time that I get back so don't take any decision now. Sir Viv's call to me was made at the right time and I got convinced. I then said to myself, 'Okay, I'm going to abandon these thoughts and start practising again as soon as I return to Mumbai’.
“My brother Ajit spoke to me about the 2011 World Cup, telling me that this trophy can be in my hands. That was the motivating factor and I started chasing my World Cup dream. I trained at 5:30 am and practised in the afternoons,” Sachin said.
In case you didn’t know
In spite of being placed in an easier group alongside Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda, the Indian cricket team failed it to make it to the Super Eights of the ICC 2007 World Cup. It was on this day (March 23) in 2007, India were knocked out from the tournament after losing to Sri Lanka and Sachin had termed it as one of his worst days in cricket.
Heart of the matter
Almost all the Indian players including Sachin Tendulkar had a miserable outing in the 2007 World Cup as they lost their group stage matches to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka before getting knocked out of the tournament. Sachin had a below-par tournament as he scored 64 runs in 3 innings with 57 of them coming in one innings against Bermuda.
He was depressed and didn’t leave his hotel room for the next two days. He was even pondering about his retirement from the sport. One of his friends informed Richards about this and the former West Indian batsman immediately called Tendulkar and changed his mind.
Sachin also blamed the Indian coach for the tournament, Greg Chappell for the imbalance in the team. He also admitted that he thought India will never lose to Bangladesh in the tournament opener.
Without a doubt, India losing to Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup was one of the lowest points in the history of Indian cricket. The 2007 World Cup was a forgettable one for the Indian fans. Thanks to Sir Viv, Sachin went on to play for six more years and created many more records apart from winning the elusive 2011 World Cup.