You could tell he was special: Jagdale
Mumbai, Mar 16: BCCI Hon. Secretary Sanjay Jagdale congratulated Sachin Tendulkar on his landmark hundredth international ton in a brief conversation with bcci.tv.
Speaking on the momentous occasion, the cricket administrator said, “This is a great achievement for any sportsman and Sachin Tendulkar is one of the greatest sportsperson that India has ever produced. Not only achieving [the hundredth] hundred, but the way he has carried himself on and off the field, and his consistency, is remarkable. Reflecting back, I don’t see any cricketer or any sportsman who has played under such pressure; pressure not [created by] the opposition or the top-class fast bowlers that he faced, but the pressure of the expectations of his fans [...]. Sachin Tendulkar scoring 70, 80, 90 is not acceptable to a common Indian. Unless he scores a hundred, people always feel that Sachin has failed; his two 70s in Australia, or 90 against West Indies, are not considered achievements, which shows what standards the people have set for him. So it is a terrific achievement. We should all be proud of it as an Indians and I wish him all the best.
He added, “Sachin has been a great ambassador of Indian cricket. [...] He has never responded to any criticism and it was always his bat which spoke. This is a hallmark of a great cricketer or great sportsperson. He has always backed his ability and his efficiency and there is nothing left for him to prove, actually. Even if he had not scored this hundredth hundred, nothing would have reduced his greatness. Whatever he has done in international cricket, as a person or as a cricketer – he is remarkable. We are all grateful to him.”
Reminiscing about a young Sachin Tendulkar, he said, “The best [incident] that I can recollect is when he came to Indore, where I come from, in ‘87-’88. The BCCI had [organised] an Under-15 all-India tournament for Under-15 boys at Indore and 20 cricketers from all over India, including Sourav Ganguly, [had come to the city]. He was 14-and-a-half years old. Both Sourav and Sachin attended that tournament and they were there for a month. I think I was the first person who captured Sachin and Sourav on video.
[While] coaching [at the camp], I had filmed Sachin on video; Vasu Paranjape, who was there as a coach for that academy, had requested me to film the youngsters attending the camp. I still recollect Vasu Paranjape telling me, ‘Sanjay, you have to come and see a boy who is 14 years old and within two years that boy will play for India’. And he was proved right.
“Sachin always had that special talent. He always looked special; you could tell that there was something special about that boy. The remarkable thing is that for more than 20 years now he has maintained that quality and consistency, and that is unbelievable. How can a man perform like this for more than 20 years? It is remarkable. My congratulations to Sachin for this great achievement and I am proud of [him],” he said, adding that the BCCI planned to felicitate Sachin Tendulkar, and the recently retired Rahul Dravid, in the near future.