Sachin Tendulkar, who recently made a comeback to the cricket field during the Bushfire Cricket Bash in Australia, has bagged one of the biggest awards in the history of sports – the Laureus Sporting Moment 2000-2020 Award. On occasion of its 20th anniversary of the award, Laureus had named 20 sporting moments from the last two decades which had unified people. Tendulkar, who clinched his maiden World Cup title in 2011 in what was his sixth and final attempt, won the award – which added another feather to his cap.
Arguably the greatest cricket to have played the game, Tendulkar lifted the World Cup in 2011 – where India scripted history by becoming the first team to win cricket’s biggest extravaganza as hosts. There was a sea of emotions all across the cricket-obsessed country as one of its favorite cricketers finally got an opportunity to lay his hands at the prestigious trophy.
After receiving the Laureus award, Tendulkar also answered a couple of questions from legendary cricketer Steve Waugh and iconic tennis player Boris Becker. Thanking the fans and the crowd at the star-studded event, Tendulkar also gave an inspiring speech that is likely to inspire another generation of budding sportspersons.
Steve Waugh: What was the reaction of people in the streets after India won the World Cup?
Sachin Tendulkar: To be holding this trophy, I would like to thank the Laureus Academy members for giving this memory to me, I think this is really special. And also, the people who voted and felt that the moment we saw on the screen was worth voting for. I would like to thank them. With everyone celebrating Laureus’ 20th anniversary, it’s simply incredible what the academy has been able to achieve in the last 20 years and how it has impacted so many lives through various mediums – sport, gender equality, education, so many things. It’s truly incredible. And I hope it continues the way it has for the last 20 years and we impact many more lives.
To answer your question – about the World Cup, I think it’s simply incredible, beyond words that I can express. How many times do you get an event happening where there are no mixed views or mixed opinions? Very rarely, does the entire country celebrate? Very rarely, there are no various opinions – everyone sits together and they celebrate. This is a reminder again of how powerful sport is and what magic it does to all our lives. We experienced the power of sport and that has stayed with me, even now when I watch that moment, pretty amazing.
Boris Becker: What were the emotions after you won the World Cup in your final attempt?
My journey started in 1983 when I was only 10 years old. Why I say 1983, to the guys who don’t follow cricket, India won the World Cup in 1983. At the age of 10, I didn’t understand the significance of winning that trophy. Because everyone was celebrating, I joined the party. But somewhere I knew something special had happened to our country and I wanted to experience that one day, and that’s where my journey began. With the trophy in my find, we saw in the image – there’s a tricolor in my hand, which obviously was the proudest moment of my life and also holding that beautiful trophy – which I chased for 22 years. The only good thing, I never gave up, I never lost hope. I was nearly lifting that trophy on behalf of my countrymen, India – that has given me a lot of satisfaction, the 24 years that I played cricket for India has been a dream come true for me, I could not have asked for anything more.
But there’s also something which hasn’t changed since then. Holding this trophy has also given me the honor to be here, to represent my nation. I feel extremely proud to be holding this trophy, on behalf of all the Indians and all the people who have supported Indian cricket.
(With inputs from timesnownews)