New Delhi: Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who bid adieu to international cricket four years ago, on Wednesday, published an emotional piece on the professional networking site Linkedin wherein he listed out various initiatives that he has undertaken since retiring.
In a post titled ' My Second Innings', Tendulkar writes: "It was October 2013 during one of the Champions League games in Delhi. My mornings would start with a gym workout, a routine I had been following for 24 years. But that morning in October, something had changed." Then he gives a unique perspective as to what made him take the decision to retire in the first place.
"I realised that I had to force myself to wake up and go about my day. I knew that the gym training was a critical part of my cricket – something that had been my life for 24 years. Yet, there was reluctance. Why?" the post reads.
"Were these signs...signs that I should stop? Signs that the game that has been so dear to me, would no longer be a part of my daily routine?"
The legendary cricketer further said that Sunil Gavaskar, one of his heroes and a former cricketer, once said that he made up his mind to quit the game when he found himself checking the clock, to see how much time there was left for the lunch and tea intervals.
"Suddenly I knew exactly what he meant. My mind and my body were telling me the same thing. Maybe, it's time to hang up my boots," Tendulkar writes.
"I also remembered the words of Billy Jean King, at Wimbledon a few years ago – you will know for sure when to go, it will come from inside you, don't let the world decide when you have to retire." "But what will a sportsman do if he's not a sportsman anymore? How do you prepare for a day when something that consumed each day of the 24 years of your life, isn't the focus anymore?" he adds.
The 43-year-old further revealed that the biggest change post his retirement has been that he has the freedom to choose what he wants to do.
"My first innings was about chasing my dreams, the second one is about satisfaction. I want to give back to the game that has made me what I am, to society and to the less fortunate. The scope has changed but the objective and drive of doing my best, remains. I'm still learning, still discovering new things, meeting new people, and contributing in my own way, to make things better," he says.
Tendulkar, who holds the record for the maximum number of centuries across all formats of the game, also highlighted his achievements post his cricket years
"One of the highlights of my post-cricket years has been the adoption of Puttamraju Kandriga, a village in Andhra Pradesh. Seeing the village don a new look after two years of intensive infrastructural development, had a joy that can't be put into words," he writes. "A project called 'Spreading Happiness' that I am involved in, provides electricity to deprived areas. Arrangements to tap solar energy have been made in over 73 villages and nearly 25,000 people have been impacted by the same. The mission to 'light up' homes across the length and breadth of the country will continue."
"Joining hands with Shri Narendra Modi, our honorable Prime Minister, for the 'Swacch Bharat' (Clean India) campaign was another step in this direction. It was also in tune with my role as the UNICEF Ambassador for Hygiene and Sanitation. The campaign's success makes me confident that India will adopt the cause and adapt to it as well," he adds.
Towards the end of the post, the legendary Indian batsman talks about the changes in his personal life.
"Lastly, but probably the most important, are the changes in my personal life. I now have more time to give to my family, to travel, to pursue my passions and to focus on things that are close to my heart, ones that I can now explore," he says.
"The love and affection from fans has remained unchanged, the chants still resonate and appear wherever I travel, which is amazing and something for which I am eternally grateful."
"So, what does a sportsperson do when they are not playing their sport anymore? Quite a lot, I have found out...," he adds.