Sachin Tendulkar was the first Indian batsman to sport the Tricolor Indian flag on his helmet.
Not just that, he several times proved his patriotism towards the country in the past. For instance, when he won the match, against England, in the second test at Chennai in 2008, he dedicated the victory to the victims of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack.
At a recent grand function, Sachin Tendulkar busted on former India and Mumbai left-arm spinner Nilesh Kulkarni, saying that he took so long to accept for being a part of India's first-ever national anthem video featuring sports stars.
“It took me one second, not three, because these things are decided by the heart, and not mind!”, Tendulkar said.
Kulkarni and wife Rasika have produced the video, which features India's top eight sportspersons and is aimed at inspiring children to play sport.
Irrespective of the several achievements in his life, Sachin said that, singing the national anthem in front of a packed Wankhede Stadium before the 2011 World Cup final, in which India beat Sri Lanka to clinch the coveted trophy after 28 years, as the ‘proudest feeling’.
With the same feeling, Tendulkar might have hunted Pakistan in a World Cup game in Centurion in 2003 and helped the team win the match, scoring 98 off 75 balls.
“It goes to a different level altogether, when you are playing against Pakistan, standing inside the stadium, in the middle of the group, with the crowd singing 'Jana Gana Mana',” Tendulkar said.
“When you sing the national anthem, your head is always held high, but when you sing it (standing) in the centre of the ground, then...seena chowda ho jaata hai (chest swells with pride). A couple of experiences, one was (against Pakistan). The other one was when we played the 2011 World Cup finals, I can never forget that experience, the entire stadium singing 'Jana Gana Mana' and it still reverberates in my ears. It's the proudest feeling I have ever experienced in my life," he said.
"We achieve so many personal goals, also team milestones are achieved, but when it comes to our national anthem, everything else takes a back seat," Tendulkar said.
The video called "The Sport Heroes," has been directed by noted Marathi filmmaker Abhijit Panse and features eight top sports persons besides Tendulkar himself --Sunil Gavaskar, tennis stars Sania Mirza and Mahesh Bhupathi, hockey great Dhanraj Pillay, ex-India football captain Baichung Bhutia, and Olympic medal winners, shooter Gagan Narang and wrestler Sushil Kumar. The initiative was a part of Kulkarni's International Institute of Sports Management (IISM).
By Phani Ch