Sachin says he was not enjoying captaincy

Published: Thursday, March 2, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar, who intends to step down as Indian cricket captain at the end of the ongoing Test series against South Africa, says he has tried his hardest and if things did not work out it was not due to a lack of effort.

Tendulkar told The Telegraph newspaper in an exclusive interview that what mattered to him was not the captaincy but performing well with either the bat or ball.

The ongoing second Test against South Africa in Bangalore could most probably be his last Test as captain, since it is unlikely he will accept the job for the third time going by what he said in the interview.

Tendulkar also admitted that he was under tremendous pressure while captaining the side in Australia, where the team lost 0-3 in the Test series, and he almost became a different person.

"I had become restless. I couldn't sleep well, couldn't switch off, even briefly from what was happening...As I've said I stopped being myself. Perhaps even stopped smiling. Maybe at times even stopped talking," Tendulkar told The Telegraph.

After Tendulkar announced that he was resigning from the captaincy, left-handed batsman Saurav Ganguly was made captain of two forthcoming one-day tournaments.

Tendulkar said he carried his resignation letter in his pocket when he went in for the selection committee meeting to select the team for the Tests against South Africa. India lost the first Test at Mumbai.

He delayed the decision to quit from captaincy because his family advised him not to be hasty. He said he stuck to his decision even though he was advised against resigning by A C Muthiah, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and coach Kapil Dev. "A time had come when I just wanted to be me, simply wanted to be myself," he said.

The prolific scorer, who is rated as one of the best batsmen ever, said it was difficult to say whether the best player can be kept away from captaincy. "Everybody faces pressure. If I'm expected to get a hundred, newcomer Murali Karthik is expected to get 10 wickets," he said.

Tendulkar also said that Ganguly should be left alone to realise his potential as captain. "I'm going to back him in whatever decision he takes. The team must let the captain feel they'll back him hundred per cent. There are times when each player has to give that extra bit. That gives the captain confidence," Tendulkar said.

India Abroad News Service

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