Here is the full text of Sachin’s speech at Wankhade Stadium:
First published on IndiaTV News
“Friends please settle down, I’ll get more emotional! It’s hard to believe my wonderful journey is coming to an end. I’ve a list of names to thank.
The first is my father, who passed away in 1999. Without his guidance I wouldn’t be standing in front of you. He said: ‘Chase your dreams, don’t give up, the path will be difficult.’ I miss him today.My mother, I don’t how she dealt with such a naughty like guy me. She took care of me to be healthy. She started praying for me even before I started my career and I think those prayers gave my strength.
In my school days, I used to stay with my uncle and aunt as my school was far away. They treated me like their son. They gave me enough food that I can play well.
My eldest brother Nitin doesn’t like to talk much but he said, ‘whatever you do, I know you will give 100 percent’. Savita my sister. My first cricket bat was presented to me by my sister, a Kashmir willow bat. She still continues to fast while I bat.
Ajit, I don’t what do I talk about him. It all started from the age of 11, he took me to Achrekar sir my coach. And my life changed. Even last night, he called me and we were discussing my dismissal.
Various things we agreed upon and disagreed upon. We have had a lot of arguments over my technique. I have had a lot of chat with him. Even last night he called me to discuss my dismissal. If I had not done that, I would have been a lesser cricketer.
The most beautiful thing happened to me when I met Anjali in 1990. I know that being a doctor there was a big career in front of her. When we had a family, she decided that I should continue playing and she took care of the children. Thanks for bearing with me for all the nonsense I’ve said. You are the best partnership that I had in my life.
Then the two precious diamonds of my life Sara and Arjun. I’ve missed out on several birthdays, holidays, annual days and sports days. Time has flown by, my daughter is 16, son is 14. Thanks for understanding, both of you have been so special to me. I’ve not spent enough time with you but I promise you the rest 16 years and more is for you.
My in-laws – Anand Mehta and Annabel — have been always supporting. I discuss various things with them, we have a strong family and, most importantly, thank you for allowing me to marry Anjali.
There have been a lot of friends who have supported me. Leaving their work and coming to bowl for me when I called them. I thought my career was over when I was injured, but my friends called even at 3 a.m. and made me believe that it was not over.
My career started at 11. My brother took me to Achrekar sir and that is the best to have happened to me. Sir would be taking me on his scooter all over Mumbai. I would bat one innings in ShivajiPark and then the next at Azad Maidan to ensure that I get enough match practice. On a lighter note, he’s never said well played to me so that I don’t get complacent.
I think you can say well done now Sir and push your luck, because there won’t be anymore matches.
I started my career here in Mumbai. I remember landing from NZ at 4 a.m. and playing a Ranji game the next day. I have had a great relationship with the BCCI who believed in me to give me a debut when I was just 16. Thanks to the selectors. You were right with me making sure I was well taken care of.
Thanks to all the senior cricketers who have played with me. We see on the screen Rahul, VVS, Sourav, Anil (Kumble) who is not here. All the coaches. I know when MS (Dhoni) presented the 200th Test cap, I had a message to the team — I said we are all so proud to be representing the nation. I hope to continue to serve the nation with dignity. I have full faith that you will serve the country in the right spirit.
I will be failing in my duty if I didn’t thank the doctors who have kept me fit. Given the injuries I have suffered. They have treated me in odd hours.
My dear friend the late Mark Mascarenhas. I miss him. My current management team WSG, for continuing what Mark has done. Someone who has worked closely with me for 14 years is my friend Vinod Nayudu.
The media has backed me a lot, since my school days. Even today. Thank you. Thanks to the photographers for capturing those moments.
I know my speech has become long. I want to thank people who have flown in from different parts of the world. I want to thank my fans from the bottom of my heart. ‘Sachin, Sachin’ will reverberate in my ears till I stop breathing.”