Services captain Rajat Paliwal recalls Sachin Tendulkar’s 2013 pep talk
Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar was the centre of attraction when he entered the single-storied Palam cricket ground in 2013. 41-time champions Mumbai were scheduled to play Services in the semi-finals of the Ranji Trophy tournament.
The match ended in a draw and the chants of Sachin…Sachin…Sachin are still etched in the memories of the Services players, including their captain Rajat Paliwal.
It’s been four years since Sachin delighted the Palam crowd, but Services captain Paliwal still relishes the moment and feels honoured to have shared the same scoresheet with the Indian batting legend.
“Dreams do come true – this is what Sachin Tendulkar told me and the team after the match,” Paliwal told Timesofindia.com in an exclusive interview while recalling the Ranji Trophy semi-finals against Mumbai in 2013.
“After the match, Tendulkar came to our dressing room and gave us a pep talk. We have seen him play and admired him. Talking to him in the dressing room was a memorable experience” Paliwal said.
Paliwal also recalled how the usually empty Palam ground filled up, with people eagerly gathering to catch a glimpse of the iconic cricketer.
“It was a carnival. I have never seen such an atmosphere at the Palam ground. Fans flocked to the ground in huge numbers. There was a loud roar after every ball he faced. The chants of Sachin…Sachin still reverberates in my ear,” Paliwal said while recalling the moment.
Tendulkar, who bid adieu to cricket the same year (2013) after playing a home series against the West Indies, scored 56 off 75 balls in that Ranji Trophy match. An innings studded with 10 boundaries and a classy six over the fence.
Mumbai captain Ajit Agarkar (145) and Aditya Tare (120) scored centuries and helped Mumbai post 454 for 8 declared in the first innings.
In reply, Services put up a decent fightback, with captain Soumya Swain (74) and veteran Yashpal Singh (58) propelling the hosts to 240. Mumbai won the match by virtue of a first innings lead.
“Our seniors had requested Tendulkar to come into our dressing room and share his knowledge with us. We still remember each and every word he spoke,” Paliwal said.
Source : TOI