Chennai, Jun 28: Australian legendary fast bowler Dennis Lillee termed Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar as the greatest batsman to have ever played cricket and regrets having rejected the iconic Indian cricketer's ambition to become a fast bowler in late 1980s.
Two days after revealing the fact that he had rejected the Indian cricketer, who had come to MRF Pace foundation in order to become a fast bowler, though he was embarrassed, Lillee said he had done a big favour by rejecting him as a fast bowler.
"I actually feel very embarrassed because I rejected him as a fast bowler," Lillee said recalling his first meeting with Tendulkar when the batsman came to the MRF Pace Foundation with an ambition to become a fast bowler.
He feels he had taken the right decision by rejecting Tendulkar in the late 1980s and terms it as one of the most unforgettable moments of his life.
"I think I did him and the game of cricket a favour. I am just joking, but I will never forget (the incident)," he said.
Lillee, who bid adieu to the MRF Pace Foundation after completing 25 years of service said he has high regard for the iconic Indian batsman, who has achieved the impossible and still has the hunger for the game after achieving unparalleled success.
"Sachin is a very humble man. He is the greatest player and batsman to have ever played. He just amazes me on many counts, his eye for the game, hunger for the game and continued success," said the 62-year-old Lillee.
Lillee further added saying that he had got an opportunity to spot the talent very early as Tendulkar had not made his foray into international cricket.
"I was fortunate enough to see him before he made it to Test cricket and lucky enough to recognise him as the world's best," he said.