Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has expressed his confidence in good friend and former teammate Sourav Ganguly, who is set to become the new BCCI president next week. Tendulkar believes Ganguly will run the BCCI with the same passion as he played his cricket.
Ganguly has been in the administrative setup for five years now, having served as the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and now he is set to go one step further and start a new innings as BCCI's next president, when he takes charge on 23 October.
"The way he played his cricket, the way he (Ganguly) has gone out and served the nation, I have no doubt that he will serve (as BCCI President) in the same capacity, in the same manner, with the same passion and same focus. That is what I know of him," Tendulkar said on the sidelines of the launch of Road Safety World Series.
While Ganguly is set to take one step forward off the field, Tendulkar is set to return on it. The Master Blaster will grace the cricketing field, after four years, as he is set to play in the Road Safety World Series, a new T20 tournament starting next year, aimed to promote road safety.
The tournament will see former players and legends like Brian Lara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Jonty Rhodes, Brett Lee, Virender Sehwag and others battle it out on the field and also spread the message of road safety. The series will be an annual T20 cricket tournament between legends of five cricketing nations – Australia, West Indies, South Africa, Sri Lanka and hosts India. All five teams will play against each other in a total of ten matches with the top two teams locking horns in the final. The first season will be played in Mumbai and Pune.
Tendulkar, who is the ambassador of the league as well as captain of the Indian team, last stepped onto the field in the Cricket All-Stars, an exhibition T20 series that took place in the US in 2015. Four years later, he is excited to be back playing again.
"I will practice and all these cricketers are geared up. We shot a film yesterday, so everyone is charged up and it is a good feeling to be back on the field again after a long time but as I said earlier also, whenever you walk on the field the feeling is different.
"Something that we will look to relive our rivalries on the field and as you must have picked already, we are good friends off the field we might be pushing each other on the field and competing really hard but off the field, we are good friends and that is what matters," Tendulkar added.
Tendulkar's return to cricket will also mean the return of iconic 'Saaachin...Saaachin' chant and the 46-year-old is indeed gearing up for another special experience.
"I had said that (chants) would reverberate as long as I breathe so here is another opportunity for me to experience that again. During IPL they (fans) have been kind enough to acknowledge and appreciate whenever I have walked on the field. They have shown their affection, and that is what I have prayed that this love and affection should continue as long as I breathe."
Tendulkar said that this T20 series is as much about celebrating cricket as sending out the crucial message about road safety to the country.
"It's (the series), of course, celebrating cricket. Along with the celebration we are sharing something with the rest of the people. What we are looking to share with everyone is this message of road safety," the legendary batsman said. "Following all the rules is really really important. That is one message we would like to give to as many people as possible and it all about awareness. Everyone makes mistakes, that's okay but whether one is being careless or it's a genuine accident...sometimes people are careless and that is where lives cannot be lost. Otherwise also I feel lives cannot be lost. There are almost 200,000 people losing their lives every year, so every four minutes we a losing precious life. That has to stop and change. Everything is on our hands and if you want this change, we have to take steps towards that," Tendulkar signed off.
The first edition of the Road Safety World Series will be played from 4 to 16 February 2020.
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