Did you know, Tendulkar was called Mac as a child?
A few lesser-known facts about India's most-scrutinised, obsessively followed celebrity ... as told by Sachin Tendulkar
* His first nickname was Mac, thanks to his fascination for John McEnroe
“McEnroe’s mannerisms fascinated me. My entire colony was on the (Bjorn) Borg side and I was the only one supporting McEnroe. 30-40 guys would sit together and watch and everyone cheering for Borg; I was the only one for McEnroe. I enjoyed his killer instinct, the unbelievable angles. I would wear a headband and play tennis down at my building, hoping someone would call me McEnroe. My nickname when playing tennis was Mac. I still haven’t met him.”
- Instead of a ring, Tendulkar got a kada for his engagement. “I told Anjali to give me a kada instead of a ring which I might lose. This way, I would never have to remove it even when batting”
Expiry-dated World Champions
“The best part of winning the 2011 World Cup was that in 2007 it was projected that this lot (seniors) had gone past the expiry date. There were multiple facets to it; I don’t want to get into it. But the best part was the expiry-dated people won the world cup. 80 per cent of the team was the same.
- That one funny exchange with Allan Donald
“He was an aggressive bowler, I was an attacking batsman. Allan is still a good friend. Once, I remember Dodda Ganesh came to bat, Allan told him, ‘I am going to hit you there’. At that point I intervened and told him, ‘I find it difficult to communicate with Dodda, he has no clue about what I am saying, so no chance he is going to understand you. You focus on your bowling! We have been friends since the 90s.”
- Arjun Tendulkar’s love for dal-rice, potato bhaji
“Arjun would only eat dal rice and potato bhaji in a particular way when he was a baby. Sara was exactly the opposite. Anjali would carry a cooker and cook every evening for him. He would eat that every day and then we would go out for dinner; Sara would eat whatever. Now, of course, he has changed. My regret is missing a lot of their childhood. Now I am free, they aren’t!”
* On the same day he had the record stand with Kambli, Sachin made 178 for the junior team
“When we (he and Vinod Kambli) created that world record 664-run partnership, while that game was going on, we had the junior team playing Anjuman Islam. We were chasing 370. Both my teams played with 10 fielders as I was in both (as a batsman, not fielder). I hopped across after the world record, and scored 178 in the other game and we won.”
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