Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar
Cricketing great Sachin Tendulkar was in London this week (12) where he said he wanted to keep helping under privileged children and allow them to follow their passion.
“It’s an opportunity to give back,” said Tendulkar at a press conference to promote his new affiliation with the sporting goods company, Spartan International. As an investor in the business, Tendulkar, will also serve on the advisory board which includes leading West Indian cricketer Chris Gayle. Ravi Thakran (chairman Spartan International) and Kunal Sharma (managing director and founder of Spartan Sports).
The retired Indian cricket legend was talking about how a major part of his involvement with Spartan International would include helping poorer children in India and allowing them just to go out and be able to enjoy and play cricket.
“My dream started in 1983 when I saw the World Cup lifted by India and from there on I wanted to chase my dream. I know exactly how it feels when you don’t have much money in your pocket and you want a particular bat so it is about addressing the poorest child who aspires to play cricket,” said Tendulkar.
Tendulkar. who is widely regarded as one of greatest batsmen of all time, is no stranger to philanthropic endeavours sponsoring 200 underprivileged children every year through Apnalaya, a Mumbai-based NGO associated with his mother-in-law, Annabel Mehta. Last month the 43-year old stepped in to fund the reconstruction of an old remote school in West Bengal which was on the verge of closure.
The all-time runscorer in world cricket was visibly still feeling the effects of a knee operation he had in London last week as he hobbled into the press launch. “My walk is slightly different now,” said Tendulkar with a smile when asked how he was.
Talking about improving the safety aspect in the game with Spartan, Tendulkar said “there have been some mishaps in the recent past but what we want to focus on is a proper solid helmet which protects us from any kind of blow.” He will play an important part in the development of cricketing products for Spartan which will draw on his 25 years plus in first class cricket. Already Spartan bats have the name ‘master blaster’ on them referring to what Tendulkar was called as a player, a name that was initially bestowed on him by fellow cricketing legend West Indian captain Viv Richards.
On being asked about the appointment of Anil Kumble as the new Indian cricket coach, Tendulkar, who who was on the cricket advisory committee who chose Kumble, said “Anil was a hard competitor and will not make any compromises on the field. My experience with him has been fantastic. He has been a big match winner. He knows how to win the big moments. How to deal with those crunch moments”’