‘Thought my career was finished’ – Sachin Tendulkar recalls toughest phase of life

File image of Sachin Tendulkar.

India batsman Sachin Tendulkar had a legendary career. The right-handed batsman is the only cricketer in history to score 100 international hundreds, and still holds the record for most runs in Tests and ODIs. He also smashed several records throughout his 24-year long career. But the batsman faced a tough time in his career, when he was undergoing an elbow injury that threatened an early end to his career. Tendulkar, in an interview to India Today, spoke about his emotions during the tough phase.

“Tennis elbow was really bad and a number of my friends have had tennis elbow after that. When they didn’t have it, they used to say how painful can it get; it can’t be that bad that you can’t hold a cricket bat. I said you need to experience it once, then you’ll know. If you are locked inside a room, you’ll not be able to open the door, it was that bad,” he said.

“Mine was really bad, I tried everything that I could: taking an injection, numbing this in the morning before the Test match. But nothing worked and the only option was to get operated. I was pushed in the corner so badly. All my physio friends and doctors tried but then certain things need to be done.”

to get back on the field. And I realised after my surgery I wasn’t able to pick up a cricket bat, I was really depressed. I would call my friends 2o’clock in the night, 4 o’clock in the morning saying c’mon lets go for a drive I can’t sleep. And they would join me and without their support, my family’s support, Anjali’s parents. Of course At home Anjali was there who’d be constantly be telling me you know the good things that have happened in my life to focus on those things,” he added.

He further recalled that he thanked god after he returned to the pitch. “Just the other day I was playing with some kids who were playing with plastic ball and plastic bat and it reminded me of my tennis elbow. Because I was starting to again play with a plastic bat and with that I could barely hit a ball. And my first outing after 3.5 months there were 12 year old kids stopping full-blooded cover drives that I was looking to hit at literally 10-15 years.”

“I thought my career was finished, it was done. And all I would pray to god was: please don’t stop my career like this, let me get back on the field again. That feeling, I remember after 4.5 months we played a one-day match vs Sri Lanka in Nagpur. I can never forget that feeling. I looked up and thanked god for that moment. This is all I wanted (to get back on the pitch),” he said.