U-19 WC: Sachin credits infrastructure for success
Kolkata: Former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday credited the sports infrastructure in India for the success of the U-19 cricket team in the World Cup, adding the boys in blue stood out from the rest of the competitors in their successful campaign at the mega youth event.
"Credit to BCCI for giving them the infrastructure. In the last 15 years, playing cricket has changed, the standard of fielding has changed.
"It's all because of better infrastructure and ground maintenance. It reflects on the field," Tendulkar told the media on the sidelines of IDBI Federal Life Insurance Kolkata Full Marathon.
"The way they have prepared themselves physically, mentally... their planning and the execution was on top. That's why it was evident that Indian team stood apart from the rest of the competitors," Tendulkar added.
India won a record fourth Under-19 World Cup after registering an eight-wicket win against Australia in the final on Saturday in New Zealand.
Throughout the tournament, the Prithvi Shaw-skippered side were dominant in their performances.
"It's been a tremendous achievement that requires a great team work to realise big dreams. We have been able to do that," Tendulkar said.
The 44-year old reserved special praise for coach and long-time teammate Rahul Dravid and his support staff.
"Without any doubt, Dravid's contribution has been terrific, and it has worked for the team and with the support staff. He (Dravid) himself said that. Rahul (Dravid), Paras (Mhambrey) and (fielding coach) Abhay (Sharma) have also been a part of it. A big achievement for all of them," he said.
Speaking on the marathon, Tendulkar said seniors should try and catch up with the younger ones and stay fit in the process.
"When I saw these kids standing on the front row, my message to all the seniors was catch them if you can. They are going to run way. It's time to keep up with them. They have got the message. It's important that seniors also respond to that," he said.
Participants queued in front of the stage for autographs and selfies with the batting great who has played 200 Tests and 463 One Day Internationals for India scoring a record 15,921 runs in the longest format and 18,426 runs in the 50-over format.
Tendulkar was seen in a relaxed mood, obliging almost each and every fan and even bringing out a selfie stick to click group photographs. He interacted with a few kids even, signalling them to keep running and make a statement.