New Delhi: They have been fierce on-field competitors but like a true champion, former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya acknowledged that Sachin Tendulkar was a "true champion on and off the field."
"I don't have words to express Sachin's greatness. I have had good experience while playing against him for Sri Lanka and with him for Mumbai Indians (in IPL). Both have been wonderful experiences," the prolific opener told PTI Bhasha from Sri Lanka.
"Everyone knows that what a wonderful cricketer he is. He is a top class player. His most admirable quality is that he is very simple and humble man. He is a champion on and off the field. His behaviour is exemplary," said Jayasuriya.
Jayasuriya feels that Tendulkar's ability to handle success and failures makes him cut above the rest and something that aspiring cricketers should look upto. "Despite being on the top of his career, the way he handled failures is commendable. Young cricketers can learn how he carried himself throughout his career."
Asked about the timing of his retirement from ODIs, Jayasuriya said that this is an individual's decision. "Retirement is his decision. He might have thought that his time is over. It's a personal decision," he said.
While many think that Tendulkar's records will remain untouched, Jayasuriya begs to differ. "Records are meant to be broken. You never know there might be somebody who can break his batting records in future. It will be good for the game," he said.