Want my children to be judged as individuals: Sachin Tendulkar

New Delhi (PTI): The surname of ‘Tendulkar’ comes with a lot of expectations but cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar says it would be unfair to judge his children — Arjun and Sara — on the basis his accomplishments.

Tendulkar, one of the greatest cricketers in the world, says he fell in love with the game at the age of five when his sister gave him his first bat and his father was always very encouraging.

“I want my children to be judged as individuals. I had the freedom to express myself and chase my dreams. That’s what I want to do with my children. It is not fair to say that my son has to play cricket and my daughter has to do something…

It’s their life. What I expect from people is to give them the freedom to express themselves,” Sachin told PTI in an interview.

The cricketer says his father’s advice has kept him in good stead.

“My father was a professor but at no stage he forced me to do something that I did not want. He taught me one thing that whatever you want to be in life, you give your best to that profession.”

Sachin’s life is the subject of a new biopic, “Sachin: A Billion Dreams”, which releases tomorrow.

The docu-drama, directed by British filmmaker James Erskine and produced by Ravi Bhagchandani, will give fans a glimpse into Sachin’s personal life besides his achievements in the cricketing arena.

Sachin says family always comes first for him because his parents, two brothers, sister and wife have played a huge role in his career.

At one point in the movie’s trailer, Sachin’s wife Anjali talks about how cricket was always his first love.

“Yes, cricket has always been my first love. I first fell in love with cricket and then I fell in love with Anjali. But my family is always my number one priority, without them I would not be here.”

While he would often spend time away from his family for weeks when he was playing, Sachin is enjoying his life post- retirement.

“The last three and half years post retirement have been good, busy, hectic. I don’t know which word to use but it has been good. Travelling has increased but I get to come home and be with my children. Earlier when I would play, I would be out for a number of weeks, that’s not the case now.”

The 44-year-old sportsman, also a Rajya Sabha member, says he is more involved in social causes now that he has time.

“Something that gave me a lot of satisfaction was adopting a village. I was the first Parliamentarian to do so.

I am UNICEF’s ambassador for handwash and hygeine. I am getting to understand the other aspects of life. Earlier, it was only about understanding the opposition’s point of view.

This is a new chapter in life.” PTI BK SSN