The 2007 Cricket World Cup was a miserable experience for the Indian team and its fans. The picture of Rahul Dravid in tears after India lost to Sri Lanka and were almost certain to be eliminated from the event is still very poignant. The crisis was also affecting the ace batsman of the team Sachin Tendulkar. People were questioning his future and whether time has come for him to hang his boots. Former Aussie captain and analyst Ian Chappell said so in a column written by him back then.
Now, the Master Blaster has revealed that he was himself doubtful about his future and was very close to retiring. In a special event called Salaam Cricket organised by the India Today group, the former batsman revealed that it was none other than Sir Vivian Richards who convinced him to stay on in cricket.
Along with the West Indian legend, Sachin also received motivation to continue from his elder brother who reminded him that the final of the next World Cup would be played in his hometown.
"I felt that was it. At that stage, a lot of things happening around Indian cricket were not at all healthy. We needed some changes and I felt if those changes did not happen then I was going to quit cricket. I was almost 90 percent sure of quitting cricket. But my brother told me in 2011 there is a World Cup final in Mumbai, can you imagine holding that beautiful trophy in your hand?" the leading run scorer in ODI cricket recounted.
But the Little Master got fully convinced of continuing to play cricket thanks to a phone call from the legendary Sir Viv. "After that I went away to my farmhouse and that is when I got a call from Sir Viv, saying I know there is plenty of cricket left in you. We had a conversation for about 45 minutes and that was so heart-warming because when your batting hero calls you it means a lot. That was the moment things changed for me and from that moment onwards I also performed much better," the scorer of 100 international centuries disclosed.
It was after the nadir of the 2007 World Cup and a difficult year for Sachin that preceded it that he regained his old fecundity for runs and the flair which characterised it. The 'second wind' of his career saw the Indian legend achieving milestones like hundreds in four consecutive Tests and the first-ever double hundred in ODIs. Eventually, it led him to the World Cup trophy at that very final which his brother mentioned. Indian fans should remain grateful to the West Indian giant for his great contribution to Sachin's success.