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Monday, April 4, 2011

‘I’ll continue to play ODIs’ - We’ve brought a smile on the face of every Indian: Sachin

Sachin Tendulkar, The Master, briefly spoke to The Telegraph at the team hotel and, then, took questions from a section of the media at the Raj Bhavan, on Sunday evening.

Such is the craze for Sachin (indeed, everybody wants a piece of him) that he couldn’t leave the hotel, for the reception by President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, at the first attempt.

Sachin could cross the lobby only after security personnel quickly cleared the area. Not that he wasn’t mobbed at the Raj Bhavan.

The following are excerpts

Feelings on the day after...

It’s an unbelievable feeling, something I haven’t experienced before.

If he slept at all on Saturday night...

Hardly... That we’d won the World Cup still hadn’t sunk in... Rather, I began imagining that another match was coming up. It’s sinking in now.

The achievement...

Huge... Huge... There’s nothing bigger than the World Cup and we’ve won it.

Win unifying the country, perhaps, like never before...

It’s great... We’ve brought a smile on the face of every Indian.

Teammates dedicating the win to him...

I’ve been touched... India have won, the team has won... I won’t forget their gesture... I’d dedicate it to the country.

Player of the Tournament Yuvraj Singh naming him as his special one...

(Laughs) I think he had somebody else in mind!!!!!

Having been in tears...

Well, I’d waited 21 years to be a World Cup-winner... I cried out of joy.

What made the difference...

Planning, preparation... The team’s self-belief. An environment where everybody knew his role.

Role played by Gary Kirsten, who is no more the coach...

His has been a big contribution. He’ll be missed in the dressing room.

If thoughts of the 2003 final, at the Wanderers, surfaced...

No... Last night was all about positive things... The good memories.

Message for the billion-plus fans...

Enjoy the moment... Savour the win.

Finally, on speculation that he’d quit ODIs...

No, I’ll continue to play them.

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