Facing the camera is more challenging than playing the game: Tendulkar


Sachin Tendulkar realised that facing the bowler was easier than facing the camera. He said as much when asked about the experience of shooting for a movie on his life as a cricket icon. London-based James Erskine is directing ‘Sachin: A Billion Dreams’. A teaser of the film has gone viral on social media.

Asked about the difference he felt as a cricketer vis-à-vis a performer in a movie, the batting great said, “It was so much easier. I did what I liked (on the field) and cameras captured the action. I am asked to do so much for cameras, which capture that. Cricket was a better option. Facing the camera is more challenging than playing the game.”

He was responding to questions at the IDBI Federal Life Insurance Half-Marathon launch here on Thursday.

The cricket legend is projected as the face of the event in three cities (New Delhi and Kolkata being the others). Fitness was an obsession for him right through his distinguished international career. Tendulkar credited coach Ramakant Achrekar’s regimen for his cricketing prowess — physical and mental.

He explained, “My coach made me push the barriers, making training enjoyable at the same time. Once I was able to push the physical barriers, it helped me become mentally stronger. He made us run a couple of laps after a full day of training and match play. I did not like running laps, but it laid the base for a solid foundation later in cricket.”

Competitive cricket demands a different type of fitness than, say, athletics. He pointed out, “Fitness is about having the strength to do 30 metre bursts laterally. I did shuttle runs between wickets. Later in my career at the BKC indoor academy, I trained alone, shutting off the air-conditioner.”

He added, “Other cricketers training there would ask me the reason for switching off the AC. I did not want to train in comfort. Training this way was tough on the body; it helped me get comfortable on the field.”

The sporting icon expressed admiration for the disciplined lifestyle followed by long-distance runners, and also praised the sacrifices put in by athletes taking up events like the marathon. “To these champion runners whom I met, my advice is to continue what you have been doing for yourself and the nation.”

Taking a dig at youngsters obsessed with gadgets and video games, he urged them to experience the benefits of sport. “It teaches you about healthy competition. It helps you to arrive at the best result. Guys like to exercise their thumbs; they should realise what they should be really doing. Taking part in sports can help them reach their targets.”

Half-marathon on August 21
The inaugural IDBI Federal Life Insurance Mumbai run will have four categories (half-marathon, 10K timed run, 10K corporate relay and 5k heritage run). Indian citizens can take part, with registrations for the half-marathon between April 17 and July 31. Entry fee is Rs 1200. According to a media release, the race was approved by the Athletics Federation of India and will be flagged off from Oval Maidan. Nagraj Adiga is the Race Director.


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