Cricket World Cup 2023 AUS vs AFG | Afghan team has a great time with Sachin Tendulkar

Legend’s presence: Tendulkar met Afghanistan team members on Monday ahead of their match against Australia.

Legend’s presence: Tendulkar met Afghanistan team members on Monday ahead of their match against Australia.
| Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

It was a memorable Monday evening for Afghanistan cricketers as they got a chance to meet and interact with former India captain Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of their must-win World Cup fixture against Australia.

Before their training got underway at the Wankhede Stadium on Monday evening, the players got into a huddle with Tendulkar joining them for a pep-talk.

For the next 20 minutes, the players had a long interaction with the Indian legend, who was a key member of the country’s 2011 World Cup-winning squad, after which Tendulkar took a walk around the pitch along with his old friend Ajay Jadeja, who is now the mentor of the Afghanistan team, and coach Jonathan Trott. He also spoke at length with Afghanistan Cricket Board chief Mirwais Ashraf about the team’s journey so far.

The Hindu understands that it was Jadeja who facilitated the meeting and ensured that the players got some time to pick the brains of the legend.

“For a long time, the players were looking forward to meeting him. And since the team is Mumbai, Ajay sir invited him to have an interaction with the players. It was a fantastic moment,” a team source said.

Afghanistan captain Hashmatullah Shahidi, too, was excited about the meeting with Tendulkar. “This is our first meeting with him,” Shahidi said with a smile.

“We all are excited because he’s a legend of the game. “We were watching him on TV as a successful player. He is a role model for a lot of our players. So, it will be an exciting time for the entire team,” he said.

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