Brisbane: Describing Sachin Tendulkar as his childhood "hero", England batsman Ian Bell has said that he grew up idolising the legendary batsman and it was a privilege to have shared the same field with the just-retired cricketer.
"The mental side of his game was very important. Obviously, when I played against him he had been playing the game at the highest level for 15 years. I grew up idolising him and he was a real hero of mine," said Bell.
"I feel very lucky and privileged to have shared the same field as him and played against him," he added.
Bell said Tendulkar was probably the only batsman in the world who could change the whole atmosphere of the ground.
"To play against Sachin was incredible. I am not sure there will ever be another Sachin Tendulkar. You knew that wherever you played against him, in England or India, when he came out to bat the whole atmosphere of the ground changed. There's not many players around the world who can do that," Bell was quoted as saying by The Daily Telegraph.
Bell, who is preparing for the first Ashes Test, commencing here on Thursday, said the recently retired Indian icon would be immensely missed.
"You just know watching him, just watching him go about his business, he was a genius in the game, someone who will be really missed. Obviously, he will never be forgotten but he will be missed. A great player and a pleasure to play against," said the England batsman.