Sachin: Cricket is oxygen to me...In my heart, I will always play for India

TendulkarSachin Tendulkar said that by touching the ground, he just wanted to thank the game which made him an icon. (IE Photo)

A day after Sachin Tendulkar walked off the cricket field for the last time, he revealed that not everyone in his family agreed with his decision to retire.

"Sara and Arjun were both emotional when I told them I am retiring. It was an emotional feeling for them. When I spoke to Arjun about it, he said I should continue playing... but I quickly changed the topic," Tendulkar told The Indian Express before addressing a press conference on Sunday.

Speaking to the media later, Tendulkar said while he was still enjoying his cricket, his body had started signalling that it may be time to call it a day.

"I had a question, and when I looked for an answer, I felt it was the perfect time to leave the game," he said. "I got that feeling because, after 24 years, you have to appreciate that I had many injuries, not easy to overcome. Training was becoming an effort. Earlier, it used to be automatic," he said.

"You reach a stage when your body gives you a message, enough of this physical load. The body requires rest. The body is not able to take more load consistently," he said.

Just over 24 hours after his emotional speech at the Wankhede Stadium, Tendulkar admitted that the feeling of retirement was yet to sink in.

"Cricket has been my life, it is oxygen to me. In my 40 years, I have played proper cricket for at least 30 years. Seventy-five per cent of my life has been cricket. It hasn't struck me that I won't play cricket again. It has been a dream journey," he said.

Asked why he touched the wicket in reverence yesterday, Tendulkar said he just wanted to thank the game which made him an icon. "I knew that never ever in my life I would get to do that again. That is where my life started, and those 22 yards gave me everything. It's like a temple for me. I wanted to say thank you to cricket. I just thanked cricket for everything that I got in my life."

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