Mumbai, Mar 29: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar said he missed being at Rahul Dravid's felicitation here on Tuesday night. The batting maestro had to leave for London and said it was not possible to attend the function.
"I spoke to Rahul in the morning (Tuesday morning) and expressed my inability to attend the function. Much as I would have liked to be present, it was not simply possible. I had to leave for London and this trip was arranged much earlier. I had to meet the doctors urgently," Tendulkar told "DNA" newspaper from London on Wednesday evening.
Lot of speculations over Tendulkar missing the IPL season 5 due to an old toe injury, he said he was not aware of the function until recently. "I got to know about this function only three days ago and it was not possible to rearrange my schedule," Tendulkar said. He had to meet doctors due to the inflammation on his right toe.
Tendulkar also spoke BCCI president N Srinivasan, secretary Sanjay Jagdale and chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty. “He had to rush to London urgently because of an appointment with a doctor, and he spoke to all of us expressing regret over not being present in the evening," Shetty told DNA.
Teammates and good friends for over 16 years, Tendulkar paid glowing tributes to Rahul Dravid. "If I were to be present at the function, I would have dwelt on his dedication, discipline and commitment to the game and the Indian team, I would have also spoken about the number of great innings he played for India."
Tendulkar, who recently scored his 100th international century said it would be difficult to single-out one great moment of Dravid during his long career but picked out the 180 against Australia in Kolkata in 2011 as his favourite one. "His partnership with VVS Laxman in Kolkata is my favourite Dravid moment,"
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have confirmed that their captain Tendulkar would be available for the entire season of the IPL 5. "I can categorically say Sachin is available for the entire duration of the IPL. He has gone to London just for consultation and is scheduled to be back soon. He will join the team camp on March 31," a spokesman for the Mumbai Indians said. He also ruled out surgery on Tendulkar's injured toe.