‘Once in a blue moon mate, never again’: Sachin Tendulkar after signing the ball for Monty Panesar

Panesar revealed he was bowled over by Tendulkar’s gesture when the batting genius agreed to sign the ball for him after the left-arm spinner had dismissed him for his maiden Test wicket
An Over-the-Moon Monty Panesar celebrating Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket in 2006.(Getty Images)
An Over-the-Moon Monty Panesar celebrating Sachin Tendulkar’s wicket in 2006.(Getty Images)
Updated on Jun 22, 2020 05:42 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com

Former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar had a dream start to his Test career picking up Sachin Tendulkar as his first wicket. Panesar had Tendulkar out LBW on Day 3 of the Nagpur Test between India and England in 2006, and went on to return figures of 2/73 and 1/58 in the two innings.

He also dismissed Mohammad Kaif and Rahul Dravid, but getting his first Test wicket in the form of Tendulkar remains the icing on cake for Panesar.

“I felt like I was on top of the world. I remember when Aleem Dar gave it out, I just couldn’t believe it. When you play cricket you have these instincts, if there’s a batsman that comes down the wicket you just naturally drop it short, it’s just instinct. The same thing happened when I appealed,” the former spinner said on the Monty Panesar & The Specialist Fielders podcast.

“His pads are really wide, and I can’t see the stumps, the only thing I can see is his pads and I’m just going to appeal. I didn’t know it was Tendulkar at the other end. It was just heat of the moment, just instinct. If at the time I knew it was Tendulkar maybe I wouldn’t have appealed.”

As animated as Panesar’s reaction was upon getting the prized wicket – and understandably so – the off spinner revealed he was bowled over by Tendulkar’s gesture when the batting genius agreed to sign the ball for him, and offered him a word at the end.

“When Aleem Dar gave it out I just went ballistic. You’re in the moment, it’s so hot and humid as well. I just ran towards point to celebrate; I had never celebrated a wicket like that before,” he said.

“After the match, the physio said, ‘Sachin is happy to sign the ball.’ I was like ‘Oh my, this guy is an amazing human being.’ That was really kind because there’s a lot of sportspeople out there who don’t really think how joyous that moment is for another individual. But he said, ‘yeah, I’ll sign the ball for you’. After he signed it, he said, ‘once in a blue moon mate, never again.’”

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022