Sat, 16 Nov 2013 13:00:00 GMT

Tendulkar’s emotional speech at Wankhede

Full text of Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell speech at the end of his 200th and final Test match


Sachin falls cheaply after being given guard of honour, standing ovation (© PTI)

'All my friends, settle down let me talk, I'll get more and more emotional.' The crowd goes berserk out there. 'My life between 22 yards in the 24 years, it's hard to believe that it's coming to an end. I would like to thank all the people who have helped me in my life to get here. I have a list in my hand, please forgive me if I miss out on a few names. First, my father, he passed away in 1999. He was very key for my career. he gave me freedom, chase your dreams and don't find shortcuts. He also told me to be a nice human being. My mother, I don't know how she dealt with such a naughty like guy me. She took care of me to be healthy. She started praying for me even before I started my career and I think those prayers gave my strength.

In my school days, I used to stay with my uncle and aunt as my school was far away. They treated me like their son. They gave me enough food that I can play well. My eldest brother, he used to tell me, I know you'd do everything right and I have the confidence in you. My sister, she gave my the first bat for me. A Kashmir Willow bat. She continues to fast when I bat.

Ajit, I don't know what do I talk about him. It all started from the age of 11, he took to Achrekar sir my coach. And my life changed. Even last night, he called me and we were discussing my dismissal. Various things we agreed upon, my technique. I have had a lot of chat with him. If I had not done that, I would have been a lesser cricketer. The most important one in 1991, I met my wife Anjali. I know she was a doctor. When we decided to make it a family, she said, you continue with your cricket and I'll take care of the family. Without that I think I couldn't have played so much cricket. Thank you for all that you've done and it is the best partnership I've had in my life.

Then Sara and Arjun are two precious diamonds in my life. Daughter is 16 and son is 14, time has flown by. I wasn't able to be with them for the birthdays, annaul days and stuff. Thanks for understanding all that, both of you have been so special to me. I've not spent enough time with you but I promise you the rest is for you.

My in-laws have been supporting. I discuss various things with them, we have a strong family and thank you for allowing me to marry Anjali. There have been a lot of friends who have supported me. Leaving their work and coming to bowl at me when I called them. I thought my career was over when I was injured, by my friends called even at 3 AM and made me believe that it was not over. My career started at 11. My brother took me to Achrekar sir and that is the best to have happened to me. Sir would be taking me on his scooter all over Mumbai to ensure that I get enough match practice."

On a lighter note, he's never said well played to me so that I don't get complacent.'

In the last 24 yrs, I made new friends, before that I had friend from childhood. Whenever I have called them to bowl to me on nets, they have left all their work aside to be with me. Even when I was injured, they were beside me. That’s when my friends have woken up at 3 in the morning just to make me believe that my career is not over yet. Life would have been incomplete without them. Thanks for being there.

'My cricket started right here at this ground. The dream was obviously to play for India. BCCI was fantastic, they believed my at the of 16 years and selected me. Thanks for the support and the freedom, without that this couldn't have happened. I have played with many senior cricketers, thanks to everyone for helping me out. I see, Rahul, Laxman, Sourav and my teamates, you guys are like my family. It is going to be difficult without that dressing room, sharing those special moments.'

'When Dhoni gave me the 200th Test cap, I just said, we are all proud to be here as a team and I believe that you guys will take care of this country in the right spirit to the best of our abilities. I believe in you and all the best for your future. Thanks to all the doctors, physios, without your special efforts, I couldn't have been fit. I don't know how you all kept me in good shape. My dear friend, late Mark Mascerenhas, my first manager. Without him I couldn't have achieved all this. All those sponsorship deals etc.. thanks for your support. I miss you. My manager Vinod Naidu, he's more like my family. He's given me so much time leaving his family to work with him. In the school days when I played well, the media backed be a lot. You've been doing that till now. Thank you to all of you, all those photographers. Those moments will remain with me for the career. I thank all the people who supported me a lot. Whether I scored a 0 or a 100. I've met a lot of people who does all sorts of things for me, thank  you for all that you've done. Especially, 'Sachin... Sachin..' that will be ringing in my ears till I breath. Thank you very much. I am sorry if I have missed out on anything. Good bye.'

Match blog | Full Scorecard | Sachin's swansong in Mumbai | Sachin’s last international innings: In pics | Farewell Sachin

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