'IPL is not dumbing down of cricket'
Purists may dismiss the Indian Premier League (IPL) as dumbing down of cricket but Sachin Tendulkar feels instead of being criticised, the glamorous Twenty20 series should be lauded for globalising the game.
"I don't personally feel that, you know, (IPL is) dumbing down the game. It's just another version of cricket," Tendulkar said.
"Test cricket is there and then they started one-day cricket many years ago and one-day cricket has been a tremendous success and if the game is gonna get globalised in the form of IPL, then why not? It's better for cricket," he added in defence of the league that has been criticised for being too glamorous and money-centric.
The veteran right-hander said despite playing the game for the past 19 years, he still gets child-like excited every time he steps out to bat in an international game, especially at his home ground -- The Wankhede.
"It's a special place. That is what I've dreamt of as a kid and then I'm living that dream and that's just fabulous. Every time I walk out, you hear the crowd going crazy, I mean it's just a special feeling.
"I consider myself so fortunate that I can walk out there in the middle and the whole stadium is backing me," Tendulkar said in an interview to CNN's Talk Asia programme.
His is a prized wickets in international cricket but Tendulkar refuses to name the one bowler he has found most difficult to handle, saying it would be unfair to single out somebody as anyone with more than 400 wickets to his credit deserves to be respected for the effort.
"It's hard. I mean Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan, Anil Kumble, you name it and it's not enough. So I think all these bowlers who've got more than literally 400, 500 wickets, it would be unfair to just single out one guy because they all are in top category," he said.
Asked about his thoughts on the way his career has gone, the affable former India captain merely said, "I've done reasonably well."
Tendulkar said it was his dream to be regarded a great batsman and now that he is counted as one among them, he feels contended.
"I can say that the dream was to be regarded as one of the top players in the world, and I think I've managed to get there and that's a good feeling," he said.