It was an afternoon to remember for the budding cricketers at the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy on Tuesday as they had an opportunity to interact with the two legends of the game — Sachin Tendulkar and Mike Gatting.
As they launched the new facilities at the Tendulkar Middlesex Global Academy DY Patil Sports Centre, both the former cricketers made it a point to guide the young guns with their valuable inputs.
While Tendulkar felt that the youngsters should not take short-cuts, Gatting batted for traditional five-day Tests. “They should listen to the players. They will give you an honest opinion. We will talk about it, but if we’re going to change it for making the game better, then it’s fine, but I’m not sure,” Gatting told The Hindu.
There are proposals to make Test cricket a four-day affair and Gatting — a former England captain and the World Cricket Committee chairman at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) — doesn’t really subscribe to the idea.
“We have seen over this Test series against South Africa where matches have gone on till the fifth day. You do need five days. If it rains and you lose a day, but if you didn’t have a fifth day, the match would be a draw. So there are lots of things that’s there,” Gatting said.
He also lauded India captain Virat Kohli for promoting the longer format of the game.
“Virat is a wonderful player, but he is also a very nice man. And he appreciates that Test cricket is a unique form of the game, and it always will be. It is a longer form but it is something that is worth keeping because you do learn so much about yourself as a cricketer, and as a person, when you are playing over five days,” Gatting said.
In the past, Tendulkar too had batted for five-day Test and, while addressing the youngsters, he said: “There were number of occasions where I was not able to perform to my expectations but sports taught me to get back on my feet again and not find short-cuts.”
“There will be tough challenges along the way; don’t cheat, else you will get exposed in front of the whole world,” Tendulkar said.