2007 disappointment strengthened my resolve to win World Cup: Tendulkar

Dubai, Dec 31 (IANS) Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has said the disappointment of India’s early exit from the 2007 World Cup strengthened his resolve to prove many of his detractors wrong.

“The disappointment in the tournament served as a boost to prove many naysayers wrong,” Tendulkar said in an International Cricket Council (ICC) article Wednesday in the run up to the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, starting Feb 14.
“The most forgettable ICC Cricket World Cup for me has to be 2007 edition in the West Indies. The early exit from the tournament ranks among the worst moments of my cricketing career. We had a fantastic team but it was not to be! My pursuit to be a part of the World Cup winning team continued.”
Tendulkar also said that the on realising the much-seeked dream of winning the Cup in 2011 was the highest point of his career as it unified the nation in its celebrations.
“I remember in 2009, I spoke to the media about looking forward to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and ‘being able to achieve what we want to achieve’. As the tournament progressed, we did worry our fans in the group stage with our performance but started generating momentum as we entered the quarter-finals,” the 41-year-old said.
“In defeating top sides like Australia, Pakistan and eventually overcoming Sri Lanka in the final, India emerged as the first nation to win the World Cup on its home soil.
“It was even more special as I had finally been part of the World Cup winning team after 22 years of pursuit. The victory in 2011 was the highest point of my career as a nation unified in its celebrations.”
Recollecting his memories of the quadrennial mega event from being a ‘ball-boy’ in 1987 to becoming a World Cup winner in 2011, he said his first century in the tournament in 1996 was special.
“The World Cup 1996 was special as it was jointly hosted in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. My dismissal in the semi-final against Sri Lanka rankled me for a long time as it was the start of a batting collapse, which brought an end to the Indian campaign,” the Bharat Ratna awardee added.
“I scored my first century in an World Cup during this tournament and also scored another one against Sri Lanka, the eventual champion, during the group stage. The highs experienced during the group stage came crashing down.”
He also revealed that the 1999 edition of the competition was a trying time for him as he lost his father during that time and felt that the loss in the final in 2003 was due to a faulty attitude.
“The World Cup 1999 was a difficult tournament for me personally as I had to cope with the loss of my father in the midst of the tournament. It was very difficult as I tried to focus on the game in spite of my grief,” the battting maestro said.
“The entire team had been playing well and we were extremely charged up to take on Australia in the final. A little too charged up, as we realised, as we lost the final by a big margin! I had a memorable tournament scoring 673 runs in 11 matches – the most by any batsman in a single World Cup. The player of the tournament award I received was little consolation for ending up on the second best side,” he noted.