He might be the idol for millions in this country, but Sachin Tendulkar too has had his tough moments and in a recent interview revealed how the phase when he was out with the tennis elbow had him praying to God every day for one opportunity to get back on the cricket pitch.
"Tennis elbow was really bad and a number of my friends have had tennis elbow after that. When they didn't have it, they used to say how painful can it get; it can't be that bad that you can't hold a cricket bat. I said you need to experience it once, then you'll know. If you are locked inside a room, you'll not be able to open the door, it was that bad," he told India Today.
"Mine was really bad, I tried everything that I could: taking an injection, numbing this in the morning before the Test match. But nothing worked and the only option was to get operated. I was pushed in the corner so badly. All my physio friends and doctors tried but then certain things need to be done to get back on the field."
Tendulkar also spoke about the support he got from his wife and the friends at a point when everything seemed to be going downhill.
"I realised after my surgery I wasn't able to pick up a cricket bat, I was really depressed. I would call my friends at 2 a.m., 4 a.m. in the morning saying c'mon lets go for a drive I can't sleep. And they would join me and without their support, my family's support, Anjali's parents. Of course, at home Anjali was there who'd be constantly be telling me you know the good things that have happened in my life to focus on those things.
"Just the other day I was playing with some kids who were playing with plastic ball and plastic bat and it reminded me of my tennis elbow because I was starting to again play with a plastic bat and with that I could barely hit a ball. And my first outing after 3.5 months there were 12 year old kids stopping full-blooded cover drives that I was looking to hit at literally 10-15 years," he revealed.
Tendulkar also spoke about how he thought his career was ending with the injury and he might never step onto the cricket pitch again.
"I thought my career was finished, it was done. And all I would pray to God was: please don't stop my career like this, let me get back on the field again. That feeling, I remember after 4.5 months we played an ODI match against Sri Lanka in Nagpur. I can never forget that feeling. I looked up and thanked god for that moment. This is all I wanted," he said