Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar is brand ambassador for St James's-based Apollo Tyres.
He tells Selma Day, editor of the Mayfair Times, about cricket, success and inspiring the next generation.
What were the highlights of your cricketing career?
“It has to be the World Cup. It’s a beautiful feeling, being there in the middle of the ground with the entire nation celebrating and dancing, I can barely describe how excited I was. To put it into words is just not possible.”
What advice would you give to budding cricketers?
“Let this beautiful journey of cricket start from your heart. Always stay passionate about the game, don’t get distracted and don’t take shortcuts.”
How are you still involved with cricket?
“Cricket is like oxygen to me. I can’t imagine my life without it.”
Tendulkar wants to transform India from a sport-loving nation into a sport-playing nation.
“India is a young country, but that doesn’t mean we are fit. It is the diabetic capital of the world and number three for obesity.
“This is something that will change only when we engage in physical activity, and it has to happen at grassroots level.
“We are trying to create this awareness at school/university levels to include sports as part of the curriculum, giving children knowledge of how important it is to look after your health, diet and stay fit.”
He added: “Apollo Tyres has been working towards the development of sports at the grassroot level.”
Tendulkar is involved in a number of social causes including Unicef.
“I spent some time a few months ago with school children and I told them, ‘I will come and play with you if you clean your playground’.
“So we all spent time cleaning everything, inside the school, around the school, and then we played a cricket match! Just to make them realise how important it is to keep our country clean.”
Why do you think Indian people are so obsessed with cricket?
“It’s close to our hearts, like football in England.”
Main photo: Trueblue