NEW DELHI: Sachin Tendulkar may not be in the best of form of late, but the senior Indian batman on Thursday said that he was not bothered by the opinion of others about his retirement and that he would just stick to his job.
“Lots of people have been talking about this question (of retirement). If I remember correctly, this question began in 2005 and it has been continuing since then. But my answer has been I will stick to my job and you stick to your job,” he said at the launch of India’s first e-newspaper, www.enewspaperofindia.com .
“It does not affect me,” Tendulkar said when asked whether the constant talk of when he would retire had irritated him or affected his performance.
Tendulkar was taking part in a discussion after the launch of the e-newspaper in the presence of minister of communications and information technology Kapil Sibal and minister of information and broadcasting Manish Tewari.
Tendulkar talked about how media speculated on his 100th international century after he scored his 99th ton during the 2011 World Cup.
“It was the media doing all the build-up. I scored my 99th international hundred during the World Cup. You (media) kept quiet during the World Cup, not discussing about my 100th ton as there were the other more important matter of India winning the tournament. After the World Cup there was again this focus on my 100th international ton,” he said.
Some of Tendulkar’s counter questions to queries prevented the scribes from asking follow-up questions.
Asked if he read newspapers often, Tendulkar shot back, “Main newspaper parte rahunga to kaun khelega (If I keep on reading newspaper then who will play).”
On the question of the likes of former captains Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman giving opinions about him, though not necessarily negative, Tendulkar asked, “You think they were talking wrong things about me?”
On a serious note, Tendulkar said that he was not bothered by the opinion of the others.
“People are free to give their opinions. Lots of people are giving opinions about me. Some have played the game and they were giving opinions. Some have not played the game and they are also giving opinions. But I don’t worry about opinions,” he said.
“It’s a package deal. You won’t score a hundred everytime you go out to bat. And like that you won’t get positive comments all the time. So I can’t control on what others say. What I can do is to just focus on the things I can handle, that is to play to the best of my ability,” he added.
Tendulkar said his family does not discuss cricket and so the game was not at the centre of things in his household.
“We don’t discuss cricket in our family. Our family discuss other issues of the day but not cricket. When I want to discuss cricket, I do it with my brother,” said Tendulkar who is now a Rajya Sabha member.
Tendulkar has now become one of the most followed celebrities in the social media space with 3.2 million people following his Twitter handle and he said was happy that he was able to raise money for charity through this platform.
“Actually, I started this twitter handle after my friends told me that there were many fake accounts in my name telling things which I have not said and done. To stop all those things I started my twitter account.
“But, the platform of social media served a very good purpose. Through that I was able to raise money for young cancer patients. Lots of people donated money for these children after reading my appeal on my twitter account. I thanked all those who have made the donations,” he said.
Talking about the fast-paced dissemination of information through digital medium, Tendulkar said that these initiatives should start from the schools if the country wants the actual benefits.
“It’s amazing the flow of information is so fast-paced now. So, this kind of digital information with updates of news every 6-7 hours is incredible. It’s good for people like us who are always on the move, to get fresh and updated news very fast.
“But I feel this digital initiatives should start from the schools so that the children can start learning from a very young age and get hold of the opportunities that are available now.”