As Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag turned the clock back on Saturday evening, a packed Wankhede Stadium cheered for the legends. After all, it was after seven long years that the two icons returned to action and guided India Legends to a comfortable seven-wicket win against West Indies Legend in an UnAcademy Road Safety World Series fixture.
While Tendulkar walked back to the pavilion after playing a quick-fire 36-run knock, Sehwag remained unbeaten on 74 to guide the team home. And the former India cricketer was delighted to have paired up with Tendulkar again.
“Few strokes by him (Tendulkar) in the powerplays were amazing. I am younger than him, watching him explode into those shots gave the impression that he is still competing and has not retired. Wearing the India colour makes us give our best on the pitch,” Sehwag said.
Opening the innings, the two forged an 83-run stand and Sehwag admitted that Tendulkar – who’s leading the Indian Legends – was determined to win the game.
“He was focused on winning this game. Tendulkar is serious, whether it is gully cricket or an international match, he tries to win games. He told me not to take risks, then would tap the ball and attempt a quick run, or would call me for the next run and then decide against it,” Sehwag said jokingly.
“It was fun. We teased each other, but his seriousness in cricket is appreciable.”
After retirement, most of the cricketers have walked in different directions, but they decided to play the league to create awareness about road safety.
“If I go out to bat without helmet or pads, the chances of getting hurt by a ball is higher. Wearing a seat belt when driving a car is as critical for your life, at 50 or 60 kms during a collision, you may go through the windshield glass or crash into the steering.
“Awareness about road safety is very important. This cause was a noble one, hence I agreed to play. I don’t accept invites for T20 leagues elsewhere,” Sehwag said, wittily adding: “The overseas leagues may not even afford us, It is not quite easy to afford Indian cricketers. But we played this one for a noble cause.”