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Thatscricket - News - Warne eulogises Tendulkar to the sky in autobiography

Published: Friday, August 24, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Sydney: It is purely a love-hate relationship. Tormented once, as Shane Warne says, by master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar in nightmares, the legendary leg spinner has finally found words to express his admiration for the batsman.[an error occurred while processing this directive]A candid and insightful autobiography by Warne, which hit the stands here, describes how he was "tendul-corized" and hails the Indian as "number one" in the game.Amongst descriptions of the many memorable matches played against almost all cricketing nations across the globe, Warne relates the legendary on-field battles with Tendulkar as also Brian Lara."Much has been made of my personal contest with Tendulkar," he writes. "Some people have said that my duel with Tendulkar in India in 1997-98 was the most complete in Test cricket they have ever seen, but there is no doubt he enjoyed the better of the exchanges. "He has played me better than anybody. Most Indian batsmen pick the length very quickly, even when it is flighted above the eyeline, but Tendulkar moved into position even earlier than the likes of Mohammed Azharuddin and Rahul Dravid." The eulogy continues. "His footwork is immaculate. He would either go right forward or all the way back and he has the confidence to go for his strokes. I suppose I would be confident too if I batted as well as Tendulkar." Indian leg spinner Anil Kumble has always been like an old buddy for Warne. "We would chat about our methods. It is no different from a couple of used-car salesmen bumping into each other. They will pass on a few tricks about deceiving customers while we talk about deceiving batsmen. "Kumble's strengths are his longevity and consistency....He is a thorough gentleman off the field but extremely competitive on the field."Warne talks at length about the match-fixing controversy while pleading his innocence."I have never attempted to fix a game or any part of a game in my life. I never would and never will. Nor have I knowingly received money from a bookmaker. "As far as the man I knew only as John is concerned, I was stupid and naive to accept money. It didn't dawn on me that he might be involved with trying to fix cricket matches. I thought he was a wealthy man who liked to bet, who had won money on Australia in the past and wanted to express his thanks. I took it at face value and thought he was telling the truth. "In hindsight I think it would have been better for all of us if the Board had made it public straight away."The news that Mark Waugh and Shane Warne had taken money from a bookie broke after months of silence from the ACB in December 1998. "In my heart I knew I had done nothing wrong. I would love John to come forward to confirm my version of the story. In future, if I can still help the cricket authorities to get to the bottom of anything relating to corruption then I will be happy to assist," he writes. PTI

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