India mark 'up and down year' with glittering show

Mumbai, Nov. 21 -- The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI's) president N Srinivasan commenced the awards function on Wednesday by terming it as an 'up and down' year for Indian cricket. But the night that followed only showcased the glittering positives of Indian cricket.

First up, another feather was added to Sachin Tendulkar's cap. Tendulkar was conferred a special award for completing 100 centuries in international cricket.

Though Tendulkar is in the twilight of his career, he hopes to continue building on the laurels he has brought to the country over the years. But there was a time when Tendulkar himself did not believe he could achieve the mark of hundred centuries.

Wright call

"We were on a flight in South Africa in 2002/03, when then India coach John Wright was sitting next to me. He told me I should aim for hundred centuries," recalled Tendulkar, before adding, "I was surprised, I asked him what he had been drinking! But today I thank him for making me realise that."

Soon after, VVS Laxman, who retired in August, was honoured with a special award to acknowledge his fantastic career.

Laxman made it a point to thank everyone and acknowledge the achievements of the team he was a part of. "Lucky to be a part of a team that won both home and away," he said.

The former India middle-order batsman also urged for patience when it came to dealing with youngsters. "It is definitely a transition period for our team. But they are highly talented and will soon take the responsibility to make our country proud."

Imbibing values

When Sunil Gavaskar was awarded the CK Nayudu lifetime achievement award, he remembered the day that explained to him the need to value the India cap.

"Once when I was eight or nine years old, I asked my uncle Madhav Mantri to give me his India cap and jumper. And he asked me to earn it. That is when I realised its worth."

Gavaskar claimed that he has his faith firmly placed in this Indian team. "I have faith in this team. It is a wonderful team and will surely make us smile in the coming days."

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.

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