Saumojyoti S Choudhury
Bangalore, Feb 10 (PTI) Indian coach Gary Kirsten todaytermed batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar as the "...greatestsporting role model" he has ever met.
"I have played fair amount of cricket with Sachin and ithas been a humble privilege to have worked with him and therest of the Indian team," Kirsten told the mediapersons, heretoday.
Kirsten, by far the most popular among the foreigncoaches is on the last leg of his tenure as India coachadmitted that he was apprehensive in the beginning whenoffered the role of coaching India.
"When I got the offer of coaching the Indian team. I waslittle bit nervous and apprehensive as to how I will start theproceedings.
"I still remember in Adelaide (tour of Australia2007-08), Sachin came up to me and said "Can you throw a fewballs at me? I said to myself, I need to impress him. I threwfrom 16-17 yards and he missed a few balls. Next moment, hecame to me and said,"Gary do you mind going a few yardsback?"" Kirsten recollected during the release of journalistGautam Bhattacharya''s book ''Sach''.
"After that, lovely cover drives flowed from Sachin''sbat. It was a good learning experience for me. I am fortunateto have had many net sessions with him and played alongsidehim," one could gauge the admiration in the former SouthAfrican opener''s voice.
Kirsten feels that it''s his humility towards the gamethat makes Sachin the true champion that he is.
"Whenever Sachin comes out to bat, he treats his battingabsolute humility."
While the legend himself was present on the occasion ofthe release of his biography, also present were current Indiancaptain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan,along with former India captains Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.
"I have never really got tired of watching Sachin bat. Heinspired so many generation of kids," Dravid said.
For Kumble, Sachin is someone whom is not just followedby Indians but also by the entire sub-continent.
"He has touched the lives of more people than anyone inthe world. It''s been a privilege that I have been a witness toSachin''s achievements. World Cup is one tournament whichrequires team effort. I wish Sachin, MS (Dhoni) and the restof the boys in their endeavour to win the Cup," Kumble said.