Tendulkar preps up for Cricket All-Stars

Talking about his new innings and playing once again against Warne, Tendulkar said last year at Lord’s he found out that the passion for the game was retained by the retired international stars and that inspired him in organising the exhibition T20 series.

Sachin Tendulkar practicing ahead of the inaugural Cricket All Star Series.   -  Vivek Bendre

Sachin Tendulkar on Monday started preparing for the Cricket All-Stars Series 2015, a three-match T20 exhibition cricket tour of the USA next month where he and retired Australian great Shane Warne would lead opposing teams, to be held at New York, Houston and Los Angeles.

Talking about his new innings and playing once again against Warne, Tendulkar said last year at Lord’s he found out that the passion for the game was retained by the retired international stars and that inspired him in organising the exhibition T20 series.

“Last year, we met at Lord’s and had an amazing time. It was good fun in the dressing room as well. Post match also, there was a cocktail party in the Long Room at Lord’s where I got to meet a lot of players who were actually not playing that game but they were much very there to watch us play.

Overall, it was a humbling experience when you meet so many players and discuss cricket. I realised then that even though we have retired the passion for cricket is very much alive and that sort of spurred me in this direction and start Cricket All Stars.”

Tendulkar said the series was about promoting the game and the players would have fun interacting with the crowd on baseball grounds.

“I believe that all the players who are taking part in the All Stars League are all great players and all of them have played at the highest level for at least 15 years. Their record proves what type of players they were. I just want to say that we are all coming together to promote the game and support the game.

Interaction with the American crowd

I feel that the interaction of the players with the crowd will be a bit different. When you play for India, you are not in the mood to crack jokes, you only have to focus on the match.

But here you have baseball grounds, so the fine leg, third man, deep point, deep square leg, all these fielders who are placed deep will literally be five feet away from the spectators, so some of the players might even get a chance to have a laugh with the spectators.”

Tendulkar said the response to the initiative in US has been very good and he has got feedback that Native Americans would be among the crowd.

Overwhelming response for the series

“I think the response has been fantastic, really overwhelming and as the time goes by and we get closer to the first game, I am sure it is going to get even more. It is nice to see that all the people living there are taking interest in cricket and not just the Asians, the Americans have also decided to turn up and that is the feedback I get from my friends.

A few of my friends who have settled there in the 90s, they had no idea about baseball or basketball, their American friends took them to stadiums and made them understand what baseball is. So I told him it is time for you to reciprocate and get some Americans inside the stadiums and make them understand cricket and I am sure they would love it.”

Who will be Sachin’s opening partner?

Asked about who he will be opening with, Tendulkar said the team compositions have not been decided yet.

“We haven’t selected our teams but there is a new surprise, Virender Sehwag is also a part of it. It would be nice. Whether it’s Hayden, Ganguly or Sehwag, whoever, they are all top players and we all are looking forward to it and so is Viru and that is what he told me.”