Tendulkar vows to help Mumbai blast victims

Published: Thursday, July 13, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:Indian cricket star Sachin Tendulkar has promised to help the victims of Mumbai's train blasts and hoped his home city would soon return to normal.

"The damage is irreparable but we have to make life better for the victims of the blast," a visibly shaken Tendulkar told reporters in New Delhi on Thursday.

"It was an extremely unfortunate incident, the serial blasts. I am in talks with certain people but at this point of time, I think I can't disclose much about it.

"There are other responsible persons also who are joining hands to fight the situation."

More than 200 people were killed and almost 800 wounded in a series of blasts on Mumbai's rail network on Tuesday, the day Tendulkar returned from a tour of England.

The 33-year-old, who has been sidelined with a shoulder injury since March, hopes to return to international cricket next month when India play a limited-overs tri-series in Sri Lanka.

Tendulkar, regarded as one of the game's leading batsmen, said he felt proud of the way Mumbai residents had responded to the tragedy.

"It was very sad that so many innocent lives were lost in the blasts. But again, it showed the strength of the people of Mumbai," he said.

"Despite the blasts people were out next morning, going to their work. Common people came forward to help each other, irrespective of whether the person is known or a stranger.

"This is our greatest strength and this probably happens only in India. This is not something you find often abroad.

"We need to stay together, help each other and fight it together. That's our biggest strength and we can overcome such a crisis only with a joint effort."

Tendulkar, who has scored more Test (35) and One-day (39) centuries than any batsman, said he was fully recovered from the shoulder surgery he underwent in April.

"I am feeling quite good but there is a fitness test to be done before I know if I will play in Sri Lanka," he said.

Tendulkar, who missed the One-day series against England in April and the recent tour of the West Indies, played friendly matches in England this month to test his recovery.

The Indian team for the tri-series, which also features South Africa, will be picked in Mumbai on July 20.

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