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Salaam Cricket 2019: Sachin Tendulkar a wonderful host, says Wasim Akram

Salaam Cricket 2019: Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram shared quite a few anecdotes as they shared the stage at Lord’s on Sunday (India Today Photo)

Sachin Tendulkar is the greatest batsman to play the game. The world knows it. But when he took the stage at Salaam Cricket 2019 with Pakistani great and friend Wasim Akram, their fans got to know more about the two greats.

Speaking at the cricket conclave held at Lord’s, both Sachin Tendulkar and Wasim Akram regaled the audience with some sterling stories. Akram said he and the rest of the Pakistan team wondered what the fuss was about Sachin Tendulkar before the Indian team landed in Pakistan in 1989.

“I remember when India were about to come to Pakistan – we heard about a young sensation coming from India. And we thought how could a 16-year-old boy playing Test cricket be so good?

“But he did not react to provocation from our pacers. Top batsmen do not react. I would get very annoyed when people smiled back.. On that tour, Pakistan got to know who Sachin Tendulkar was. We realised this guy was something special,” Akram said.

Over the next 2 decades, Wasim Akram and Sachin Tendulkar came up against each other in several high-octane India-Pakistan matches and the two went on to become great friends.

Sachin Tendulkar is known to be a foodie. He can also whip up some tasty meals and loves entertaining guests. On Sunday, Wasim Akram said he had been to Tendulkar’s house in Mumbai and said he is a great host.  

“I have been to Sachin’s house in Mumbai. He is a great host and if he invites you, make sure you go. He treated me to home-cooked food and looked after me well,” Akram said.

Sachin Tendulkar said he respected Wasim Akram as a cricketer and as a good human being.

“Our cricket rivalry was on-field. A lot of cricketers are on-field champions but they do not get along off the field. But Wasim and I gelled well off the field. You earn respect not just with good cricket but by being good humans too,” Tendulkar said.

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