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Sachin Tendulkar delighted to be back on cricket field

Tendulkar said, "For any sportsman the best thing one can do is to appreciate their performance and effort and that is what we all experienced today."

Press Trust of India |November 8, 2015, 10:51 AM IST
Sachin Tendulkar delighted to be back on cricket field

Addressing media in a post-match press conference, Tendulkar said, "For any sportsman the best thing one can do is to appreciate their performance and effort and that is what we all experienced today."

Warne also voiced appreciation for the fans who had turned up to watch cricket in a baseball stadium.

"We wanted to be competitive. There was some skillful batting and bowling and fielding out there. But we know they will come back hard in Houston. A lot of the guys have trained hard, they are proud people, they don't want to be embarrassed and they were not today," he said.

While the match was played competitively, the camaraderie between the players was visible as they laughed and cheered each other during the game.

The next match will be on November 11 in Houston, coinciding with the Indian festival of Diwali. Tendulkar said Houston will have a "big reason to celebrate" on the festival day.

Both the teams took a lap of honour after the game, thanking and applauding the cheering fans who waved the national flags, banners and placards to honour the legends.

From banners that read 'Sachin for President', 'Sachin is our God' to 'God Blessed America', the fans had come fully prepared to cheer their cricket icons. Many of them had their faces painted with colours of their national flags and wearing cricket T-shirts representing their respective countries.

Tendulkar said he hopes to make the series an annual event. For the matches in Houston and Los Angeles, Warne and Tendulkar said they would make some changes in the line-up and rotate the players as they want all the cricketers to participate in the series.

Warne said some people had been skeptical on how the retired players will perform but "we didn't take it easy, it was very competitive."

Appearing with Tendulkar and Warne in the post-match press conference Shoaib Akhtar said it was "amazing" playing with Tendulkar.

"He is an amazing captain. What better brand than Sachin to promote the game abroad," said Akhtar, who took two wickets for 26 runs.

When asked if after playing the series, the cricketers felt they had taken retirement a bit soon, Tendulkar said that playing three exhibition games is different from playing a full season.

"When you are expected to play an entire season, it is quite a bit and the body is not able to take that load. The reason to again start to play after retirement is to globalise cricket and there are exciting times ahead as well," he said.

Sehwag quipped that he has retired from international cricket to play with all the legends in the All Star series.

"That's the reason for me to retire," he said with a laugh.

After the match, several fans waited outside the stadium, hoping to get a glimpse of their favourite stars. Sumit Modi, a software engineer living in Jersey City said it was an amazing experience for him to watch all the iconic players, whom an entire generation has grown up watching.

"It was a dream for us to see so many players on the field," he said.

The fact that the players were retired did not dampen the enthusiasm of the crowd.

Karthik Parekh, a physical therapist, said, "as long as Sachin is on the field, it does not matter whether the players are retired or not. It is a dream to see Sachin."

Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 4366 104
5 Australia 3270 99
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7748 277
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4720 262
4 India 8620 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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