"Imagine Federer, Nadal playing without anyone watching", Tendulkar against cricket in empty stadiums

Sachin Tendulkar played down the idea of cricket behind closed doors in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

Cricket remains globally suspended due to COVID-19 outbreak | GettyLegendary Sachin Tendulkar rebuffed the idea of playing cricket behind closed doors whenever the on-field play is resumable. The Master Blaster talked about how the presence of crowd remains a great source of energy for the sportsperson who take the field, citing an example from a different sport. 

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"Can you imagine Roger Federer and [Rafael] Nadal playing on the centre court of Wimbledon with nobody there? It's going to be such a strange thing to watch. Not just cricket, any sport needs to have that energy," Tendulkar told ESPNcricinfo amid the game's suspension due to COVID-19 pandemic. 

There have been suggestions from various corners to conduct games in empty stadiums if the deadly outbreak relents gradually, even if not entirely, possibly safe enough for the sporting activities to resume without crowd presence. However, Tendulkar wasn't clearly amused by that thought. 

Meanwhile, Tendulkar gave away names of the promising youngsters who he believes will serve Indian cricket long. 

"Since we are talking about promising youngsters, there are a number and the names would be Prithvi [Shaw], Shubman [Gill] and [Sanju] Samson."

"They all are different players. Just like how when we were playing, Rahul [Dravid] was different to me, I was different from Sourav [Ganguly], and Laxman was different from all of us. Similarly, these guys are different but have a promising future. They have their own styles."

The 47-year-old, regarded as the greatest-ever batsman in the history of cricket, also said he wouldn't have changed his ways in order to fit into the modern-day, limited-overs oriented game and would've backed his strong basics to come through in any era. 

"I would have continued to be myself in today's cricket, I don't think I would have changed anything. I don't see there would have been any need to do something out-of-the-box different. Because if I had continued doing [what I did] the same way, the boundary line is only 70 yards," Tendulkar added. 

"So if you are going to back yourself to clear [it], then you work on consistency more than anything else, depending on the surfaces. There are surfaces that compel you to play differently, I would have been flexible in my mind, my thought process. I think that flexibility has to be there."

(Inputs from ESPNcricinfo)


By Kashish Chadha - 25 Apr, 2020

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