Sachin to Unmukt—'You are special, I see you doing well for India'

India's former U-19 captain recalls how Tendulkar made his day.

Sachin Tendulkar’s awe-inspiring stature has motivated many people and India’s 2012 U-19 World Cup winning captain Unmukt Chand is no different.

Unmukt met Tendulkar as part of an initiative by Adidas, in which the legendary batsman was to mentor 11 promising cricketers. The meeting with Tendulkar left a huge impact on Unmukt, who is now determined to achieve bigger goals, making it to the senior national team being one of them.

Unmukt said he was humbled by Tendulkar’s reaction when the two met last month. “January 13, 2014, will be an unforgettable day in my life. Through an Adidas initiative, 11 young cricketers were felicitated and given an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be mentored by none other than the God of cricket, Sachin Tendulkar himself. The moment and that feeling cannot be explained in words,” Unmukt wrote in a blog.

Unmukt shared his experience when he met Tendulkar who said that he expects the Delhi batsman to do well for the country in years to come.

“I was the first one in the row. Sir came up to me, shook my hand, handed me a bat, patted my back and said, ‘Unmukt, you have always been a special talent. I see you doing good for the country in years to come. All the best and keep working hard.’

I was so humbled by those words and his gentle gesture.

“I grew up in an era where Sachin Tendulkar ruled the world of cricket. Who can forget the Desert Storm in Sharjah or that pull to Andrew Caddick at the 2003 World Cup, which went out of the park?”

The 20-year-old batsman, who scored a century in the U-19 World Cup final in 2012, said his dream to represent the senior team got a major boost after his experience with Tendulkar.

“He is the reason most of us started playing cricket. Looking up to my hero, I always thought: One day I will play for my country and do my country proud.”

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BJ Watling of New Zealand dives to make his crease during day three of the 2nd Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve on February 16, 2014 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images) less 
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Getty Images | Photo by Staff / Phil Walter
Sun 16 Feb, 2014 8:30 AM IST

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