Sachin Tendulkar urges media to let his son Arjun be a normal kid

Sachin Tendulkar chose an apt occasion to talk about his son Arjun. At the Sports Journalists’ Association of Mumbai’s (SJAM) awards function yesterday, Tendulkar requested the media to let his son to enjoy his cricket.

When I started playing cricket, though my father was a professor and was in the literary field, at no stage I had this pressure from anyone who said you are playing cricket but how about following your father’s footsteps.”

He added: “My son has played a match today — first club match, an official match. He is passionate… he’s madly in love with cricket. I would appreciate if everyone allows him to be himself and to have his own identity and enjoy his cricket.

“At no stage of my life, there were comparisons. He (Arjun) started his career, so it is a humble request if he can live his life like a normal 14-year-old, without thinking about anything else except falling in love with this sport,” added Tendulkar, who is just two matches away from his 200th Test match.

Print and TV journalists had gathered in good numbers at Azad Maidan yesterday to cover Arjun’s Dr HD Kanga Cricket League debut. Playing for Young Parsee Cricket Club in the ‘G’ Division, the southpaw was out on one in his 12-ball stay as opener. He, however, took one wicket in his seven overs.

Mumbai is suddenly facing a dearth of off-spinners. It is learnt, the selectors are keen to explore city’s spin talent and want to develop a pool of at least 10-15 spinners. Yesterday, offie Akshay Girap certainly seemed to have impressed chief Mumbai selector Sudhir Naik.

Naik, who looks after National Cricket Club, went over to the other side of Cross Maidan to have a look at Girap playing at Karnataka Sporting Association.

Girap starred with four wickets for 60 in Karnataka SA’s win over Victory CC on the basis of first innings lead. Girap is likely to get a call-up to join the special training camp at the Bandra Kurla Complex indoor academy.

“I would have obviously loved to take more wickets, but it is a nice way to start the season. I know Mumbai Ranji Trophy team would be looking out for spinners, but that (selection) is not in my hands. I just have to keep performing and do my best in every match,” Girap, who has featured in Mumbai U-19 and U-22 teams, said.