Sachin Tendulkar remembers furnace-like Sharjah during ‘Desert Storm’

“In my case, that was one experience which I remember how tough it was to stay there and play the best team in the world,” Tendulkar said, recalling his memorable centuries in Sharjah against Australia in 1998.

Sachin Tendulkar single-handedly steered India to the final and subsequently to the title win.   -  The Hindu Archives (Photo: V. V. Krishnan)

Sachin Tendulkar on Thursday recalled the physically tough playing conditions in arid Sharjah during his ‘Desert Storm’ in 1998 against Australia.

“Given the conditions in the month of April - the temperatures are really high and you can feel the heat going through your shoes and socks - and the first thing you want to do is to put your feet in the ice bucket,” he said. “In my case, that was one experience which I remember how tough it was to stay there and play the best team in the world - Australia was No. 1 at that stage - and to beat them so convincingly was extremely satisfying,” said Tendulkar at a promotional event here.

Tendulkar, the face of the IDBI Life Insurance Mumbai Half Marathon scheduled on August 20, spoke in front of a few participating runners who also shared their experience.

In the Coca-Cola Cup, riding on Tendulkar’s masterly knock, India defeated Australia to storm into the final on April 22, 1998.

Two days later, in the final, Tendulkar shone once again as he cracked 134 to help India defeat Australia and clinch the tri-nation series title. New Zealand was the third team in the competition. The Australian attack was one of the best in the world, which comprised the likes of Damien Fleming, Michel Kasprowicz, Steve Waugh and ace spinner Shane Warne.

Tendulkar said, “My 48 hours’ experience was the Sharjah matches, which I played in 1998. Those days we used to play in Sharjah and drive all the way back to Dubai. By the time we got back to the hotel, unpacked and settled down, it was 2 a.m. or so when I went to sleep. And the next day was for recovery and the following day was the final. It was not so easy,” he said.

Tendulkar also spoke on the importance of fitness and how he prepared for the 2011 World Cup, won at home by India, in spite of injuries.

The batting maestro also donated 100 pairs of shoes to the runners, during the promotional event.

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