Playing It My Way-Sachin Tendulkar's autobiographical book

Sachin Tendulkar Reveled the following things in his Book 

1. He doesn't like to be called a cheat

Sachin describes his “shock” and “humiliation” when he was accused of ball tampering by English match referee, the late Mike Denness, on a tour to South Africa in 2001. He considered leaving the tour and explained he was only using his thumb to clean grass off the ball. “I wasn’t prepared to let it pass. I informed Mike Denness that I would complain about the allegation and would not keep quiet about.” The tour was nearly cancelled before Sachin was cleared and Denness’s career as a match referee was soon over.

2. India came close to leaving Australia tour ... because of racism

India almost walked out another tour, this time to Australia in 2007-08, when Harbhajan Singh was punished for using racist language towards Andrew Symonds during the Sydney Test. Tendulkar was batting with Harbhajan at the time when after a long-running sledging battle with Symonds the off-spinner shouted at him in Hindi “'Teri maa ki” (your mother is….). Symonds thought he had called him a monkey and a controversy that still rages today was born.

3. Yorkshire CCC's bonding sessions were "eccentric and hilarious"

During his summer at Headingley in 1992 Sachin loved Yorkshire’s team bonding sessions known as the Sunday Club. He describes one in which it was agreed everyone would wear “towels and a tie without a shirt” and meet in the hotel lobby. He thought it was a wind up. “I kept a close eye on the lobby and only when I saw a number of my team-mates sporting a towel and tie did I do the same.” He writes it turned out to be an “eccentric and hilarious” evening. Indeed.

4. Sachin loves Nasser Hussain

The book touches upon almost every match Sachin played at international level but is surprisingly thin on detail of contests against England. However, one section will be cut out and pinned on the wall of the Hussain household. “Among the captains I played against, I consider Nasser Hussain the best. He was an excellent strategist and, even if some of his tactics occasionally bordered on the negative, he was a very good thinker on the game and was proactive.”

5. He doesn’t love Greg Chappell 

As befits a dignified man like Sachin there is no criticism of fellow professionals in his book apart for the former India coach Greg Chappell. He describes the Australian as a “ringmaster” who tried to push Indian greats in to early retirement, and accuses him of asking him to get involved in a plot to topple Rahul Dravid as captain before the 2007 World Cup (claims Chappell has denied this week). He writes Chappell said Tendulkar could “control Indian cricket for years”. It seems Chappell failed to realise that was the case anyway. Chappell was fired after the World Cup and Tendulkar was glad to see the back of him writing “Indian cricket was going nowhere under Chappell”.

6. Arjun, Sachin's son, doesn't take kindly to criticism of his father

During the final years of Sachin’s career, it was common place to see his son Arjun at Indian net sessions wearing his pads. He even cried when his father told him he was retiring. Sachin describes in his book how his wife had told their son not to rise to criticism of his father from school friends. It didn’t always work. When a school friend blamed Sachin for India losing “Arjun punched the boy and told him not to say anything bad about his father again”.

7. Indian players had a gun pulled on them in a London tube train 

Not an incident involving Sachin directly but he reveals in his book how Navjot Singh Sidhu and Sourav Ganguly got in to a confrontation on a tube train in London (hard to believe it could happen to such mild-mannered men …) which ended with a gun being pulled on them. “Sourav’s first reaction was to drop to the ground and cover his face in fright, but then he started pleading with the boy and dragged Navjot away as quickly as he could.”

8. Sachin had "a hundred or more" cortisone injections

You don’t play as long as Tendulkar without help from medical science. It started in 1993 when a painful wrist injury required a cortisone injection. “The injection, which was pretty painful, was the first of a hundred or more cortisone injections over the course of my career.” He even had three in one lunch break during a Test in South Africa in 1997. We hope he said “Tis but a flesh wound”.

9. Golf helped hone the young Tendulkar's talents

Sachin worked out his own method of improving his reflexes as a child, adapting the young Don’s method of hitting a golf ball against a water tank. Tendulkar “bought a couple of golf balls” and cut them in to an oval shape and asked his aunt to throw them at him while using the living room as a net. “The ball would change direction after pitching, either coming in or going away. I would learn to play with soft hands without damaging things in our living room.” The perfect nephew.

10. Before the limos ... he used to take four buses to cricket practice

In his first year at Shardashram cricket academy Sachin would commute on four Mumbai buses and trains from his family home. “Anyone who has been on a Mumbai bus at peak times will know just how difficult it is to get a seat.” Bus conductors would try and charge him for two tickets, one for Sachin, the other for his kit bag. “It could be embarrassing because the conductors were often rude.” He worked out a way round the problem. “With time I evolved a way of wrapping the kitbag around me. Just as the helmet and pads became a part of me while batting, so the kitbag became an extension of me on the bus.”

11. Sachin loves his food ... and ran riot in Pizza Hut

On just the third page of the book Sachin describes his mother as the “best cook in the world for me” who would make him “delicious fish and prawn curry, baigan bharta and varan bhaat (lentils and rice)”. He says he owes his “appetite and love of food” to her. He reveals how he dined in KFC and fish and chips while playing for Yorkshire and became an expert in how to maximise the salad bar in Pizza Hut. He writes he learned how to use “lettuce leaves to construct a wall, so that the size of the bowl, which was normally just two to three inches tall, increased to five or six inches. We could then fill it with as much salad as we wanted.”

12. He even won an award for his eating 

At the famous Harry Ramsden’s café in Guisely, West Yorkshire, Sachin conquered the Harry’s Challenge as easily as making a hundred on a flat deck in Ahmedabad. It entailed eating a “giant portion” of fish, chips, bread and butter with two side dishes. He polished off the fish “fairly comfortably” plus the salad and side dishes. But being a true pro Sachin left the chips. “I thought they might be too fattening”. He was given his certificate anyway as the chef was “impressed with my performance”.

13. Missing out on becoming the youngest Test centurion made him cry

Sachin reveals how he cried in New Zealand in 1990 when he fell just 12 runs short of his first century for India and in turn missed out on becoming the youngest ever centurion in Test history. He walked back to the pavilion unable to “control my tears” and cried for several minutes in the bathroom. He had been caught at mid on by John Wright, who would later coach India. Sachin later told him he “really shouldn’t have taken that catch”.

14. Priests have a say in the IPL, which dilutes desire to play for India

Sachin praises the tournament and how it has revolutionised Indian cricket. Domestic players know may earn an IPL deal by performing well for their state sides, and it has added a “whole new dimension” to Indian cricket allowing youngsters to play with the best players in the world. He reveals how one team owner lets his priest decide which players leave the hotel rooms on match days while another has dressing rooms arranged in feng shui style. But he does worry about how the riches in the IPL may make playing for India “somewhat less significant”.

15. Sachin is a Luddite ... especially when it comes to DRS 

You have to search hard for any mention of technology by Sachin, a long standing critic of the decision review system. It merits two paragraphs in his book. He writes India feel it has to be 100 per cent “before we can accept it.”

16. Music calmed him before the 2011 World Cup semi-final v Pakistan

He listened to Bade Achhe Lagte Hain on his iPod for seven hours before the match in Mohali, which he describes as “one of the most pressurised games of my career”.

17. Winning the World Cup in his home city made Sachin feel complete

After an all-night party at the team hotel, Sachin returned to the family home. His mother performed aarti (a ritual for good luck) and put a tika (vermilion blessing) on his forehead. “I felt I had performed my duties as a son and deserved her welcome.” He concludes that winning the World Cup “still feels like a dream”.

18. In his next, post-cricket innings he "sometimes does nothing at all"

Sachin describes his cricket career as the first innings of his life. Now he prepares for a second dig: life after cricket. He admits he has no idea about what he will do other than “sometimes not doing anything at all”. He has a huge bungalow in Bandra West, known as the “Queen of the suburbs” in Mumbai, and owns almost as many sports cars as he scored international hundreds. He ends by saying Indian cricket is in “safe hands”.

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