Mandangad (Ratnagiri), Mar 5: Retired cricket great Sachin Tendulkar has said he was fascinated by the way visually-impaired play the game he dominated for close to two-and-a-half decades, adding that has learnt a few things from them.
"I inaugurated the blind cricket tournament about 14-15 years ago in Mumbai and I was fascinated by the way they play cricket, because you just hear and react to that. And you score runs and get wickets and you feel all those kinds of things. They are unbelievable and I was fascinated to see all that," Tendulkar told PTI here yesterday (March 4).
"It was a new experience for me and I learnt a few things from them. I was glad to be there and this was immediately after we had won the Ranji Trophy and the next day it was a different form of cricket. Two different things but the crux of the whole thing is that they are as passionate about cricket as we are and that is what matters," said the 40-year-old cricket legend.
Tendulkar, who is the UNICEF's ambassador for the South Asia region, visited a school for visually impaired children - Snehajyoti Nivasi Andha Vidhyalaya (Snehajyoti residential school for the blind) - in the interior part of Maharashtra and taught them the techniques of hand wash.
Tendulkar's maternal aunt operates the school. "My mother told me more about this place. It is quite a drive from Mumbai and it was remarkable to spend time with visually challenged children, who actually are so talented. My mother introduced this place to me.
"In fact it's my aunt who has been involved with this school for the last ten years from Mumbai. My mother used to keep talking about her commitment. She has left Mumbai for the last ten years and she spends all her time over here with children, teaching them how to live life, how to improve their future and give some direction. And that is really important. Also to make them realise the things they are capable of doing," he said.
The multiple record-setting batsman and first sportsperson to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna award said lack of awareness among people about hygiene and sanitation is one of the biggest hurdles to scale.