Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, after retiring, feels that more countries need to play in the ICC World Cup to make cricket a global sport in the long run. The legendary batsman, who is now in the U.S. along with Aussie leg spin wizard, Shane Warne, for the inaugural ‘Cricket All Stars 2015’, said, the whole idea behind the series was not only to popularise the game in the country but to globalise it.
“People have opinions that there should be less teams. But we need to find a solution and work towards it together to make cricket a global sport and not have just 8-12 countries compete all the time and be happy with that,” he said.
“If we don’t take steps toward that [globalising the sport] it is never going to happen,” he added.
‘Cricket All Stars 2015’ series, backed by Tendulkar and Warne, will bring together 28 of the biggest names of the game, including former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly, recently retired India’s explosive opener Virender Sehwag, Sri Lankan spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan, former West Indian captain Brian Lara and former Pakistan stars – Legendary Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar.
Responding to the former Australia captain, Ian Chappell’s recent comments, that people would not want to watch retired players in the Twenty20 exhibition series to be played in New York, Houston and Los Angeles, Tendulkar said, retirement does not mean “you never pick up a cricket bat again.” “People will always have opinions, it does not mean it is the right opinion,” he said.
“The reason for stopping cricket is because you cannot be competitive at that level but that does not mean you stop enjoying cricket. This is what we are doing, we are enjoying cricket. Once you retire it does not mean you never pick up a cricket bat again,” he said.
Tendulkar said players in the series are playing for fun, and if in the process they inspire thousands others to watch and learn the game, there was nothing wrong with it.
He added that, while it was not possible to play a long series, the retired players felt it is feasible to play three-four games. “Why not use that energy and enthusiasm [for the game] in different parts of the world to globalise cricket, get people excited about the game.”