Former India captain Sourav Ganguly talks about his memories of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket after the second Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday. Here are the highlights from the exclusive interview to NDTV:
It was very emotional for all of us, when we were all at the stadium. Sachin mentioned Rahul & VVS as well and made us very, very proud.
It was a massive advertisement for Indian cricket. You could see so many people gathered there.
I'm a firm believer, that if Sachin Tendulkar retired, he should go with his bat held high.
When he spoke about every one in his family, that showed that to be a great person, you need those values in life. This part of Sachin we never knew when we played together.
You just don't play cricket to get the numbers. The journey with Sachin and Indian cricket has been special.
Since he stays in Mumbai, BCCI has a lot of options on how to utilise Sachin's credentials after cricket. Sachin will make a good commentator, but there are other things he can do.
For me, there was nothing more that Sachin could have achieved.
Today (Saturday) also I met him, he was there meeting every one. It was a special moment when I hugged him.
We knew each others' game, I understood his psyche.
His Bengali is unbelievably poor. I've requested him not to speak it any more.
We were in Indore as 14-year-olds and that was the first time I met him in the cricket camp in MP. Sachin filled up my room with water.
I remember we went to England as 14-year-olds and played in Westminister school, Vinod Kambli was there, facing a rickety bowling machine.
Arjun Tendulkar asked me how to play the cover drive, I told him to go and ask his father. If he achieves 50% of what his father has in cricket, he would be very successful.
It was never tough to captain Sachin, Dravid, VVS and Kumble because they were good people. I used to rely on them during tough times as captain of India.
I shared a special relationship with Sachin, he stood up for me many times. Sachin's message did wonders during the 2003 World Cup when many of the player's house were pelted with stones. His message calmed the nation. If Sachin hadn't spoken the truth to BCCI after the Greg Chappell era, I may never have played again.
Sachin and I went to Sri Lanka and had loads of crabs, but it became a little odd in that restaurant when a teammate came up to us and told us to stop cause we had a plate full of left-over waste. I remember we went to Kenya and I had crocodile meat but I was at that time told it was chicken.
Cricket without Sachin will be like an opener without helmet. My favourite Sachin knock in Tests was his century at Perth in 1992. In ODIs, his knock vs Pakistan in 2003 World Cup was my favourite. Sachin's farewell innings - the 74 at Wankhede - was the best I've seen in him play in last three years.
Would compare Sachin to Maradona, both had no. 10 jerseys and both geniuses. Maradona was my favourite footballer.