It was a memorable Monday evening for Afghanistan cricketers as they got a chance to meet and interact with former India captain Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of their World Cup fixture against Australia.
Before their training started at the Wankhede Stadium, they got into a huddle with Tendulkar joining them for an interaction that lasted about 20 minutes.
Heaping praise on the team for not losing hope in crunch situations, Tendulkar said, “We all need purpose to achieve something - it starts from our childhood…” Drawing reference to his childhood, he said, “Maybe I was too young, but I always believed that I will play for India. That’s the advantage of being immature - you don’t know about the other side of the coin and if something goes wrong.
“I did not even know the number of tournaments to play for India, but somehow my heart told me that it’s going to happen. But the question was when?” the Indian legend was seen saying in a video shared by Afghanistan bowling coach Hamid Hasan
Tendulkar then took a walk around the pitch along with his old friend Ajay Jadeja, who is currently the mentor of the Afghanistan team, and coach Jonathan Trott.
He also spoke at length with Afghanistan Cricket Board chief Mirwais Ashraf about the team’s journey so far.
“For a long time, the players were looking forward to meeting him. And since the team is in Mumbai, Ajay sir invited him to have an interaction with the players. It was a fantastic moment,” a team source said.
Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, too, was excited to have a meeting with Tendulkar.
“This is our first meeting with him,” Shahidi said with a smile. “We all are excited because he’s the legend of the game. And for a lot of players, we were watching him on TV as a successful player. He was a role model for a lot of our players. So, it will be an exciting time for the entire team…”
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