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Friday, October 17, 2008

Today, I miss my dad: Sachin Tendulkar

Mohali: Sachin Tendulkar's body language on Friday evening was that of a relieved man.

Despite having become the highest run-getter in Test cricket by surpassing Brian Lara's record and then being the first batsman to score 12,000 Test runs, Tendulkar has not thought of giving up yet.

"I am very happy about this achievement. Though I don't play for records, there was a lot of talk about this one (Lara's record). People kept asking me all the time about when it is going to happen. Now, at least, no one will ask," an elated Tendulkar said at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) pavilion here at the end of first day's play in the second Test between India and Australia.

The batting maestro admitted that he could not sleep properly the previous night.

"That happens to me. It was a little difficult to sleep. I am constantly reminded by others about such things (record)," he said.

Tendulkar made it clear that he was going to continue playing international cricket and was not even thinking of retiring.

"My next target is that I am going to continue (playing). I am feeling good. A lot of things are said and written about me. These may not necessarily be right. People tend to know what's going on in my mind. I don't need to prove anything to anyone," he said.

Sounding a word of caution for those criticising him, Tendulkar said: "When I started playing cricket 19 years ago, no one told me how to play. No one needs to tell me now either. I have 19 years of contribution to Indian cricket. I have not played to prove anything to any XYZ. I just try to complete what the requirement of the team is. Getting the record is a wonderful and fascinating feeling. I am happy that the record is in the name of an Indian."

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Tendulkar said he looked up at the skies after scoring the 15 runs needed to surpass Lara's record "to thank the Almighty for everything he has given me and thank my father who is not around."

"He would have been a proud man today. Today, I miss him," Tendulkar said.

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Tendulkar dedicated his achievement Friday to his family.

"All records are meant to be broken. I don't think about them. I cannot be running after everything. But if it comes my way, I will accept it. The beauty is to go out and play. But as the career progresses, the mind starts thinking of records."

He said that he was happy that some of his records had come against the world's top cricketing side, Australia. "It's a coincidence that it's happening against Australia," he said.

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Tendulkar, who debuted for India in 1989 at the age of 16, said that among his memorable innings was his first century.

Showering praise on Indian Test captain Anil Kumble, who turned 38 on Friday, Tendulkar said: "He is the greatest bowler that India has produced and the world has seen."

"Getting 600 wickets is a big thing. I applaud that. His dedication and hardwork has got him there. He is a true champ. He has a big and strong heart."

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