When I played TT with Ten­dulkar

Sportstar - - STARSTRUCK - LISA STHALEKAR ■AS

Istill re­mem­ber the first time I bumped into Sachin Ten­dulkar. It was some­time in 2004 and he was in Ade­laide for a re­cov­ery ses­sion at Cricket Aus­tralia’s Cen­tre of Ex­cel­lence. I think it was the time when Sachin was re­cov­er­ing from ten­nis el­bow.

I was so thrilled when I saw him at the cen­tre on the very first day. And to my sur­prise, he walked in to play table ten­nis and I ended up play­ing with him. I was ex­cited and af­ter the game, I rang up my fa­ther and told him that I paired with Sachin and played TT. To be hon­est, I was very ex­cited when I met him for the first time.

I have crossed paths with him many times af­ter that and he has recog­nised me ev­ery time and we have ex­changed pleas­antries. I know he is a busy man and I just say ‘hello’, have a bit of a chat and move on ev­ery time we have met.

Hav­ing been a crick­eter my­self, I love giv­ing space to peo­ple and that’s one of the rea­sons why I do not click pic­tures with stars. For in­stance, when I saw Hugh Jack­man, the Hol­ly­wood ac­tor, last year, I de­cided not to bother him by ask­ing for a pho­to­graph!

I am part of an or­gan­i­sa­tion, Adopt Change, which is com­mit­ted to work­ing to­wards all chil­dren hav­ing ac­cess to a safe, nur­tur­ing and per­ma­nent fam­ily home up­bring­ing. Jack­man’s wife, De­borra­lee Fur­ness, founded this or­gan­i­sa­tion to re­duce the red tape in adopt­ing in Aus­tralia. So, we had a func­tion last year where Jack­man had come. I was like, ‘Oh God, that’s Hugh Jack­man.’ Ev­ery­one was get­ting pho­to­graphs with him, but I told my­self that I won’t do that. So, I did not even take pho­tos, and wanted to give him some time. That’s how I like things to be.

(Sthalekar is a former Aus­tralia women’s cricket team cap­tain and a noted com­men­ta­tor.)

TOLD TO SHAYAN ACHARYA

V. V. KRISHNAN & PTI

Catch­ing up with the lit­tle master: “I was ex­cited and af­ter the game, I rang up my fa­ther and told him that I paired with Sachin and played table ten­nis,” says Lisa Sthalekar.

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