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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Former football player finds passion training dogs

Andre Hastings has gone from being a Bulldog to training them.

The former standout wide receiver at the University of Georgia has shifted his focus from footballs to canines.

“I train anything from Schnauzers to Australian Shepherds, Shi Tzus to Rottweilers,” he said.

These days, Hastings, 38, competes in competitive dog training shows around the country and the world.

The Atlanta native is starting a training and kennel business —- Best in Show Boarding and Training —- in Phoenix, where he’s lived since 1993.

He wants to change the tainted view of the relationship between athletes and dogs.

“People are always saying ‘What are you training them for? Fighting dogs?’” Hastings said. “That’s just this general perception of things. I want to show people that somebody made a mistake. I’m an animal lover. I want people to appreciate dogs.”

Hastings, who was the 1989 USA Today Offensive Player of the Year while at Morrow High School, played for Georgia from 1990-1992. He’s still fifth all-time for receiving yards in a season and first in average yards per kickoff return at the school. He remains close with his Georgia teammates, including college teammate and roommate Garrison Hearst, who also lives in Phoenix.

Hastings played eight seasons in the NFL, starting with the Pittsburgh Steelers, then heading to the New Orleans Saints and, finally, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He retired in 2002.

The biggest game of his career may have been Super Bowl XXX, when Hastings pulled in 10 catches for 98 yards and returned two punts for 18 yards for the Steelers.

Hastings never had a dog growing up, but in 1999 he adopted a Rottweiler a friend was giving away.

“I said ‘I’ll take it’, ” he said. “I wasted a whole lot of money on a whole lot of people that knew a whole lot less than I do about training.”

Finding an expert became an obsession. During the NFL season, he’d check out trainers in different cities. It wasn’t until he went to a seminar by Ivan Balabov, one of the preeminent trainers in the country, that Hasting found someone he trusted.

“From there, I started learning how he trains, his methods,” he said. “I started to learn that I had a knack for dogs and I started to compete.”

Hastings’ talent grew quickly. Last year, his dog Kaden, a Malinois, placed second at the American Working Malinois Association championships.

In May, Hastings and Kaden will head to Prague to compete in the World Federation of Belgian Shepherd Dogs World Championships.

“Athletes and dogs have a bad reputation. I’m trying to make that better,” he said.

Hastings actually found his NFL background helped.

“There are a lot of similarities,” he said. “It’s you and your dog, you are a team. You have to work together when you are out there competing.”

He misses football and the camaraderie of being on a team and admits he still fights the urge to get back on the field.

At the Super Bowl in Tampa, Hastings ran into old teammates, including Hines Ward and Jerome Bettis.

“They said ‘You look great, you could still be playing,’ ” Hastings said. “In my mind, I’m still just as fast as I ever was. But your body definitely slows down.”

He still is involved in football. He helps train college players getting ready to make the jump to the pros, training them for the NFL combine.

Hastings’ passion has obviously moved to dogs.

“I enjoy this a whole lot,” he said. “It’s a passion of mine. It’s what I do.”


Saturday, February 21, 2009

India get down to business with intense training

A game of rugby and some fielding and batting drills comprised the strenuous three-hour workout that the Indian team went through ahead of the series against New Zealand that kicks off with a Twenty20 match on February 25.

The visitors practised at the picturesque Bert Sutcliffe ground.

Although Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men are the Twenty20 world champions, they will bear in mind that they had been humbled by 10 runs by the resilient Kiwis during the inaugural championship at Johannesburg last September.

Warming up with a game of touch rugby, Dhoni's men were put through fielding drills by coach Gary Kirsten before they moved to the adjacent ground for a hit at the nets.

Kirsten spent some time with Rohit Sharma, urging the youngster to get his front foot in the right place while driving the ball.

Time and again, Kirsten walked up to the middle to guide the Mumbaikar with his bio-mechanics before Rohit got his act right in the second session for a knock against Ishant Sharma and Irfan Pathan.

Sachin Tendulkar took to the nets soon after, often walking up to Kirsten and asking him to pitch the ball on a particular spot so that he could lean into his shots.

Pace spearhead Zaheer Khan chose to go for a run alongside bowling coach Venkatesh Prasad, much after his team-mates had wound up the nets.

The team arrived here on Friday after a strenuous journey, prolonged by transit layovers at Hong Kong and Auckland.

India, who play two Twenty20 matches, a five-ODI series followed by three Tests during the tour, have not won a Test series in New Zealand for the past 41 years.

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ICL presence in NZ cricket worries BCCI

Likely presence of the 'rebel' Indian Cricket League players in their domestic sides could unhinge the plans of New Zealand Cricket in fulfilling its commitment of arranging a warm-up match for Indians before the first Test.

"Some ICL players could turn out for these teams and such a scenario is not acceptable to us," BCCI sources said on Saturday.

The BCCI has barred all its cricketers and officials from having any track with the Essel Group-promoted ICL and the International Cricket Council has convened a meeting in Johannesburg on Monday to resolve the BCCI-ICL conflict.

India had agreed to extend their Test series from two to three matches on the request of NZC and in lieu of that they had demanded some practice for the players, who were not part of the ODI squad.

Six Indian players — Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Amit Mishra, Murali Vijay, Dhawal Kulkarni and Laxmipathi Balaji — are expected to play in New Zealand's domestic circuit before the first Test, beginning March 18.

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India have best balanced Test batting line-up: Gavaskar

Describing the Indian Test batting line-up as the best balanced in the world, cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar on Saturday said he was very confident of the team doing well in New Zealand.

"The balance of our Test batting line-up is very good. It's the best balanced batting line-up in the whole world. The team is also very flexible and adaptable and I'm confident they would do well in New Zealand," Gavaskar said.

The former India captain was speaking to reporters after Rahul Dravid, who is part of the Test team to play the series in New Zealand, released his biography SMG, penned by Devendra Prabhudesai and published by Rupa and Co., at the Cricket Club of India here.

Gavaskar said the fact that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side would have played two Twenty20 Internationals and five-match ODI series before plunging into the more difficult Test rubber would also be a big advantage.

"They are playing Tests after the one-dayers and this would give them the chance to get used to the weather conditions. The ball will not move that much in one-dayers and the bowlers for New Zealand would also be the same. They will be better prepared for Tests," he said.

India are seeking to defeat New Zealand in a Test rubber in the latter's backyard after 41 years.

The former India Test opener also said that it was a very big plus point to have an opening combination like the team had currently in Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.

"A hundred opening stand or even a stand of 50 or 60 runs is a good and important foundation. We have in Sehwag and Gambhir a very good opening combination. Then we have Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, (VVS) Laxman, Yuvraj (Singh) and
(MS) Dhoni to follow," he said.

Gavaskar, however, said that it would be a huge challenge for Dhoni and company because of the different weather conditions in New Zealand.

"It's certainly a huge challenge for the team because the conditions are unfamiliar," said the former cricketer who was the first batsman to climb Test cricket's one-time Mount Everest -- of scoring 10,000 runs.

Gavaskar felt the current cricketers had the big advantage of utilising the internet and computers to study the rival players, however unfamiliar they were, which was not there in his time.

"The New Zealand team has quite a lot of new players. Apart from (captain) Daniel Vettori not much is known about others. But currently the internet and computer are there for the players to study the rivals unlike our times," he said.

Gavaskar, considered one of the most meticulously prepared cricketers in his heydays, also revealed how he used to study the bowlers closely in county cricket, when he was playing in the championship in England, if the England team was set to visit India the next winter.

"I used to watch the bowlers in the county circuit very closely when I knew England were to come to India in winter. I used to watch a lot of cricket video footages. I also read a lot of cricket books, mainly biographies, to know what went
into making the players they were," he said.

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Injured Flintoff under pressure not to play IPL

Injured England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff is reportedly under pressure not to play in the 2009 Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition.

With Australian captain Ricky Ponting and several other players from that country deciding to opt out, Flintoff's fragile fitness has assumed a larger than life picture, especially in the wake of England failing to win the third Test in Antigua.

In an article for The Telegraph, former England fast bowler Derek Pringle is critical of Flintoff's desire to appear for the Chennai Super Kings in the IPL in his injured state, and urges him to learn from Ponting, who has put country first before IPL.

He quotes one England player as saying: "Ponting can do what he likes. I'm playing in IPL, end of story."

"If that sounds unpatriotic, the reality of playing for England these days is a non-stop slog of matches and tours for which the England and Wales Cricket Board must take much of the blame. After all, the quickest way to grow the game's revenue in recent years has been to enhance TV deals by playing ever-increasing amounts of cricket, a process that has proceeded unchecked for 10 years," says Pringle.

At first players countered by warning of burnout, but with money now to be made by playing yet more cricket, a hard-nosed attitude has taken hold," Pringle adds.

He blames the ECB squarely, saying that had they not made such an issue over IPL participation last year, and not insisted that players appear for the ill-fated Stanford venture as a way of remaining out of reach of India's Twenty20 moguls, the players would probably have been less bullish now about taking part.

"The Board's other option, and one many former England cricketers feel they should have taken, was to have handed players, especially those dithering over signing their central contracts, an ultimatum: "You can play in IPL but while it takes place when it does [April and May], if you do you won't play for England," Pringle says.

"With the Ashes imminent, injury is likely to be an emotive matter with regard to IPL, which is why Flintoff, who will discover the extent of any damage to his right hip on Saturday, is keeping his own counsel. But the thought of him playing extra cricket, and IPL is an add-on, albeit a highly lucrative one, must run contrary to England's best interests for this summer's Ashes and World Twenty20," he concludes.

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Benitez believes Liverpool still in Premier League title race

Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez reckons his side can blow the Premier League title race wide open again when they visit Old Trafford next month.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been so impressed by Manchester United's nine straight league wins that he admits that he cannot see anyone getting near them.

The bookies also clearly agree, with one already paying out on Alex Ferguson's outfit winning a domestic treble, The Sun reported.

Even Fergie himself believes it is a two-horse race, with only Liverpool placed to make a scrap of it.

But Benitez, whose side host Manchester City tomorrow, insisted: "When I speak of facts, one is that United are a very good team and I knew they could have a run of winning games in a row.

"They will win more than a lot of the other teams, but to say we can't beat them? I don't think so. I can only talk of my team, but I don't think they are untouchable. In football now, every game is tough, so anything can happen," Benitez said.

"We have reduced the gap very well and want to reduce it more. It will be difficult but, if we're in the same position going to Old Trafford, maybe that could be important."

Few men are better placed to talk of shattering the status quo than Benitez, whose Valencia side broke Real Madrid and Barcelona's stranglehold on the title in Spain.

Liverpool trail United by five points, but seven years ago Valencia was even further behind Real and still won the title.

Benitez added: "In Spain we were eight or nine points behind in January and finished seven ahead. It's a big gap, but we can reduce that by winning a few in a row."

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All's well in IPL: Modi

It is all hunky dory in the Indian Premier League (IPL). So says Lalit Modi, the IPL chairman rubbishing media reports about pullout of sponsors from the Twenty20 league.
"I want to make it clear that no sponsor has pulled out. All are on board. And many are in the queue," Modi told mediapersons on Friday.

"Many parties have expressed interest to join us. In fact, they are willing to pay more than the existing sponsors," the IPL chairman said.

Modi said the IPL is in business discussion with all its sponsors but he would not reveal issues of discussion. He clarified that IPL's deal with DLF is very much intact and denied that the sponsor has paid only 50 per cent of its dues.

Modi, however, said that the resignation of Kunal Dasgupta as the CEO of the Sony Corporation, is an internal matter of the company. "It's an internal matter of Sony Corporation. He (Kunal Dasgupta) is a personal friend. He was deeply involved in developing the IPL concept. But the organisation, whether it is Sony or IPL, is bigger than any individual. There's no question of Sony pulling out," said Modi.

He also expressed confidence of bringing Big TV, which withdrew its Rs 137 cr deal with IPL.

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Ex-umpire Dicki Bird says money has ruined cricket

Cricket's most famous umpire, Harold "Dickie" Bird, says the game has been damaged forever by the amount of money that is coming in.

Ten years after he retired, Dickie, 75, who umpired three World Cup finals and 66 Test matches, is depressed that the "greatest game in the world" has been so badly tarnished by the Allan Stanford scandal.

"It was right for the England and Wales Cricket Board to terminate all contractual links with Allen Stanford. But it is too late because the damage has already been done. It depresses me what has happened to the game I knew and was brought up with as a boy. Money has been the ruination of cricket," The Sun quoted Bird, as saying.

"I have always been an establishment man. I turned down a lot of money when Kerry Packer founded World Series Cricket in the Seventies. I also turned down the rebel tour to South Africa on principle as I opposed apartheid. So when I see these huge sums pouring into the game now I feel saddened," he added.

"When Sir Allen showed off the case with the 20 million dollars prize money for the West Indies and England winner-take-all game last year, Viv Richards and Ian Botham were beside him. They were all smiling, but when they pulled back the blanket to reveal the cash, I thought it was horrendous. I thought "there is something wrong here" and I have been proved right," Bird said.

He also said that the West Indies used to be so powerful and there are signs that they are coming back. But this is a terrible setback for them.

"Why can't we leave things alone? We need to return to some of the old traditions and principles," Bird said.

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Batsmen will decide the fate of the tour: Sourav Ganguly

These are testing times for Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- both figuratively and realistically. His first tour overseas as Test captain is to a country where India have always come a cropper.

The last time India crossed the Tasman Sea, they were bludgeoned into submission. The scars are fresh in the memory of many players, ask Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag or even John Wright.

So what can Dhoni do to avoid a similar pummelling from the home team this time round?

"Simple, bat well," says Sourav Ganguly, who led India in that disastrous tour of 2002-03, where India lost the Test series 2-0 and the ODIs 5-2. It is not a suggestion. It is an advice.

Ganguly himself admits the advice is not so simple, after all. "It is not easy to bat well there. But the reality is that batting will decide the fate of the tour. It would require a lot of application, concentration, perfect shot selection..." Ganguly goes on to say.

India's most successful captain ever says the playing conditions will be tough enough although India, unlike in the past, would be playing at the end of the New Zealand season.

"The ball does a lot there. It moves a lot. The pitches are very demanding. So the batsmen will have to cope up a lot." The former captain, however, is confident that Indian batsmen like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, have the capability to come good on the tour.

Ganguly, who is the in city to judge a reality show for NDTV Imagine, thinks lack of a practice match before the Test series is not the best way to approach it. Particularly for a side that is aspiring to be the No. 1 Test team in the world.

"The Test specialists will have to do a lot of adjustments in a quick time. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman need to adjust to the conditions fast," he says.

The Bengal player, however, is not worried of team's former coach John Wright's presence in the rival camp. "It is up to the players. The coach's role is just about 10 per cent. So I'm not overtly worried that John would pass on information that can help the New Zealanders."

He, however, admitted that India have a good coach in Gary Kirsten, who has a striking similarity with Wright. "They both are good coaches but eventually it will boil down to the players."

Ganguly felt the next two years will be crucial for India. "The next two years will be important if they want to be the No. 1 side in the world. Currently South Africa look the best and Ricky Ponting's Australia are not far behind Graeme Smith's men," he said.

India, according to him, are just behind South Africa and Australia.

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ManU boss gives history lesson to team on blown up titles

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has given his team a history lesson in blowing titles to make sure they do not get too complacent.

Manchester United can go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League tonight with victory over Blackburn.

But the memories of surrendering a 12-point lead to Arsenal in 1998 and losing the title on the final day of the season in 1995 still burn deep for the Old Trafford gaffer, The Sun reported.

"My feeling is that we don't get carried away because this game can kick you in the teeth. In 1998 we lost a 12-point lead to Arsenal and that's a great reminder of going the whole road and not taking rests. We don't need a rest - the players are young, fit, and fresh," Ferguson said.

"We just have to make sure we keep our focus on every game. Every game for us now is a must-win situation," he added.

Despite winning 10 Premier League titles, Ferguson remembers the details of the ones that got away as if they were yesterday.

"You can't forget the chance we missed at West Ham in 1995 when we only needed one goal to win the league. We should have had a penalty, there was a clear handball. Then in 1998 we threw it away. It was a foregone conclusion until the start of March," he said.

"Prior to the Champions League tie in Monaco we got Giggs injured, Schmeichel was carrying an injury, Scholes played with a broken toe and we had to play him wide right against Arsenal to keep him away from the central midfield.

"Cole and Sheringham were the only ones playing regularly at that time because Solskjaer was also injured. It told in the run-in because it meant we couldn't freshen that part up. Injuries played their part and when you lose a game, it gives the team chasing you real encouragement," he added.

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Andy Flower wants to become England team director

Former Zimbabwe opener and assistant coach of the England cricket team, Andy Flower, wants to become the new team director and help solve the puzzle of why they cannot win Test matches.

Flower has decided to apply for the job made vacant by the sacking of his friend Peter Moores.

ECB chiefs on Friday launched their quest for the new man by advertising the 300,000 pound-a-year post and upgrading the title from head coach to team director.

If Flower is chosen and he is a serious contender with the backing of captain Andrew Strauss, he will have two immediate tasks.

Analysing why England struggle to bowl out opponents on the final day of matches and deciding whether injury-prone Andrew Flintoff can play in the Indian Premier League at the start of an Ashes summer.

Flintoff will hear the results today of the scan on the suspected torn muscle in his right hip and fears he could be out the rest of the tour.

Flower rejected the title of interim coach on this tour and instead stuck with his role of assistant coach. But it is clear he and Strauss are running team affairs.

"I might apply for the job of team director. I've really enjoyed doing it so far. In my favour, I have my experience as a Test cricketer and the fact I have been involved with these guys now for almost two years," Flower said.

"I believe I can help gel a unit together. The captain and I get on well and I'm pleased with the response I've had from the players," he added.

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India-New Zealand play draw

India made a smart recovery from an early goal deficit to hold New Zealand to a 1-1 draw in their first Test of the four-match hockey series at the National Stadium here on Saturday.

The visitors were jolted by a third minute goal through New Zealand captain Phil Burrows but their smart change of tactics in the second session yielded the equaliser in the 55th minute through SV Sunil.

The Kiwis, who lost both their matches to India in the Punjab Gold Cup in Chandigarh earlier this month, dominated the first half and went into the breather 1-0 up.

However, India changed tactics in the second session by switching to short passing build-up instead of hard hitting into the circle.

This caught up the Black Sticks unawares and, coupled with some solid defending by the Indians, the home side were forced to commit mistakes.

India missed three chances for the equaliser as forwards Rajpal Singh, SV Sunil and Shivendra Singh were off target.

However, Sunil made amends 15 minutes from the final hooter and slotted home from close range past goalkeeper Stephen Graham after a set up by Arjun Halappa.

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Dravid, Laxman could have toured ahead: Vengsarkar

Players picked only for the forthcoming Test series in New Zealand would have benefited with a tour of that country with an India 'A' squad at the end of Ranji Trophy final in the middle of last month, feels former captain and chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar.

"I feel if an India 'A' team's tour of New Zealand had been organised soon after the end of Ranji final and the squad included Test stalwarts Rahul (Dravid) and (VVS) Laxman,
besides M Vijay, Dhawal Kulkarni and L Balaji, they would have got used to the conditions better for the Test series in the absence of any practice games," Vengsarkar said on Saturday.

The Indian team, which has already reached New Zealand to commence their tour with a Twenty20 International at Christchurch on February 25, would plunge into the Test series starting at Hamilton, four days after the conclusion of the five-match ODI rubber on March 14 at Auckland.

Vengsarkar felt that while the players who are already in New Zealand would get used to the vastly different conditions there by playing in the Twenty20 and ODI series, those picked only for the Test series would not have this benefit with no practice games scheduled before the three-Test rubber.

"A little bit of planning and insight would have benefited them after the long layoff from cricket. Also the fringe players would have been helped by their presence in the India 'A' squad," Vengsarkar said, adding he had always insisted in the India 'A' team going to a country which was subsequently hosting the national outfit.

India have not won a Test rubber in New Zealand since their maiden visit in 1967-68 when Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi's team won 3-1. Only one other Test, at Auckland in January 1976 which was also Vengsarkar's debut match, has been won by India since

Also, while Dravid had an outstanding tour in 1998-99 when he notched up hundreds in each innings (190 and 103 not out) at Hamilton, he did not enjoy the same success on India's last visit to New Zealand in 2002-03.

The champion batsman accumulated only 131 runs with 76 as his highest in four innings in matches played at Wellington and Hamilton, the same venues he had played on his visit four years earlier.

Laxman had a dismal outing on the same tour six years ago and came a cropper on drop-in pitches where the ball darted around extravagantly. The stylist Hyderabadi mustered only 27 runs for a poor average of just under seven.

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ICC to bring BCCI and ICL on table

In a step aimed at ending the tussle between the Indian Cricket Board and the Indian Cricket League, the International Cricket Council has invited both the parties to a meeting in Johannesburg on Monday.

ICC president David Morgan and the chief executive Haroon Lorgat would meet with representatives of the BCCI and the ICL. The representative of the BCCI and the ICL had met in October last year but the talks had failed.

Morgan said he had arranged the meeting to try and bring bout a settlement to the long-running dispute between the two parties.

"I've long regarded it as a priority to bring together the BCCI and the owners of the ICL and I'm pleased to say we have fixed a meeting to take place in Johannesburg on Monday," Morgan said in a statement.

The ICC president cautiously said they were hoping to see an end the dispute but nothing can be promised.

"I hope we might be successful in coming to a mutually acceptable conclusion. I can't be certain that will be the case but I hope we can at least make a start in bringing about
a settlement.

"I think this is significant because experience tells me that the best opportunity to solve a dispute is to have the parties face-to-face," he said.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tendulkar uncomfortable with fans touching his feet

He doesn't receive letters written in blood any more, but Sachin Tendulkar says that he does not feel comfortable when a fan touches his feet and tells him he is God.
Tendulkar, whose achievements with the bat have won him fans worldwide, says the adulation never ceases to surprise him.

"I used to receive letters written in blood...but not any more. It feels strange when a fan comes and touches your feet and says you are God. I don't feel comfortable with it, but it is the way they feel about you...that happened again just a couple of weeks ago actually," he says.

In a light-hearted interview published in celebrity magazine 'OK!', Tendulkar spoke about his love for Ferrari cars, his post-retirement plans and how he handles criticism.Tendulkar said retirement thoughts were far away from his mind at the moment but he may start a business when he stops playing competitive cricket.

"That's a big question. I don't know...I will definitely be involved with the game. When I retire, that is when the doors to other opportunities will open. As of now, other than just promoting various products, I haven't opened the door to anything else. Maybe I'll start a business," he said.

"I don't know when that would be yet, but that will be the time I will focus my energy in different directions. Right now it's only focussed in one direction -- that is cricket,"
Tendulkar said.

Asked when was the last time he received some constructive criticism, the batting maestro said, "criticism is hardly ever constructive. I try and stay away from newspapers when I am playing. You get to read so many things that are not constructive, but somehow the guy who is writing it all seems to think that it's constructive."

Tendulkar said his celebrity status has helped him wriggle out of situations that would be difficult to handle for a commoner.

"There's one time that I remember clearly...we were in Australia playing some exhibition games -- it was around 1994. I was out with two other players and when we got back to the hotel, the rest of the team had already left for the airport. They had packed my bags and gone and there were no mobiles or anything. We had no way of reaching them," he recalled.

"We were to fly from Sydney to Melbourne -- we had no tickets, no passports, nothing. I got to the counter at the airport and explained the situation. The guy at the counter
recognised me and he gave us three boarding passes from Sydney to Melbourne...without passports, without tickets. I felt that I was truly special," he said.

Asked when was the last time he spent an entire day without watching any sport, the 35-year-old batsman replied, "On December 31 last year. I spent time with my family in
Mussoorie about 7,000 feet above sea level looking at the snow-capped mountains. It was freezing and we went for a long walk. I was a fantastic feeling. That was the day when I didn't watch sports at all."

On the one moment he felt proud of, Tendulkar said, "I was truly proud of our performance during the Chennai Test. We won against England on the last day."

Asked about the most recent prank he had played on a teammate, Tendulkar said, "I am always doing that...a while ago, we had gone to a restaurant and we actually fooled Yuvraj Singh. We put wasabi on a toast and told him it was a delicious spread that he must try. He almost ate it. We stopped him at the last minute.

When was the last time he did something which he wished he hadn't?

"Probably the last innings I batted in Mohali. I felt that I shouldn't have played that shot. I got out on it. (Smiles) That's what I feel every time I get out," he quipped.

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