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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Queue or crease, Sachin’s same - ‘Walk came from heart’

The world may like to treat him differently, in a reverential manner, but senior-most pro Sachin Tendulkar is actually happy being an aam aadmi.

That came through for the umpteenth time, this afternoon, when Sachin declined to jump the queue at a departure gate in Chennai airport.

“If everybody is boarding the same flight (to Mumbai), then it’s fine.… I’ll wait,” Sachin told an airline official who’d suggested that he “move forward”.

That came as a boon for many, who scrambled for photographs and autographs. The rush, however, made the security personnel step in.

After having stood for a couple of minutes, Sachin had no choice but to be escorted to the aircraft.

During that time, The Telegraph lobbed a few questions at Sachin. The first being his decision to walk at the Chepauk yesterday.

Pointing to his heart, Sachin said: “It comes from there.… It’s taken instantly.… To walk or not to walk is a very personal thing.”

Sachin’s standing as an ambassador for the sport got enhanced. Besides, Indian cricket earned marks for maintaining the spirit of the game.

Ricky Ponting, obviously, sees things differently. To be fair to him, he’s entitled to wait for the umpire to raise the index finger.

The under-pressure Australia captain didn’t walk in Colombo on Saturday.

Asked if he’d ever regretted having walked, given that some atrocious decisions had been handed out to him, Sachin shrugged his shoulders as if to say “No”.

With two hundreds already in this World Cup, Sachin is one short of a century of hundreds in Tests and ODIs. So, wasn’t the pressure that much more?

Sachin smiled, pointing out that he “wasn’t” reading the newspapers and was even staying away from the TV.

In any case, Sachin’s immediate priority is to help take India past Australia, champions from 1999, in the quarter-final here on Thursday.

Sachin and the rest reached Ahmedabad this evening.

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