After a mind-boggling 23 years at the top, Sachin Tendulkar retains his hunger for the game and his appetite for excellence. But how long can he go on?

For the first time, in an exclusive interview to Times Now, to be telecast on Friday, the legend opened up about his possible retirement, admitting that at 39, there wasn't much cricket left in him.

The call to retire would be a tough one, the maestro said, adding that he would go with what his heart said. "At the moment, my heart says I am okay."

"The moment of retirement is going to be hard because I haven't experienced anything close to what I might go through when I retire," he said. Asked if he would retire from all formats of the game at one go, he said, "It again depends on what my heart tells me then. I need not take a call right now. When I play in November, I will reassess things."

Sachin Tendulkar, in this exclusive interview, says it is going to be difficult to 'suddenly hang my boots one day'.

The country loves you because of your ability to remain focused on your game. It is also true that getting involved by reacting to things being spoken about you could be a distraction. But do you feel that you are pushing yourself too hard to be competitive and stay on top at this stage of your career and life?

I have always been pushing myself, for the last 22 years and more, to play for India. It had always been a dream. When you play for India, you are playing a team sport. The 15-member squad has to move in the direction that the team wants you to move in. Everyone is striving to achieve something unique. Especially because it is a matter of pride and honour to play for India. Therefore, there is no reason why I should not be pushing myself too hard. In fact, if I don't, then you should question me on why I am not pushing myself hard enough. I care about playing cricket for India. This is something I am not willing to make a compromise on. The day I stop playing, I do not want to feel that I did not give it my best shot.


People say that Sachin is pushing himself so hard that the Sachin who we see is not the Sachin that we know. You almost hit the wicket with your bat and raised your hand in anger when you were bowled for the third time in a series against New Zealand...

We are always under pressure. There is no stage where a sportsman is not under pressure. Although, it is good to be under pressure, which will bring out the best in you. Personally, being nervous brings out the best in me and I prefer it that way. Also, there is no batsman who feels happy after getting out. In this context, I was disappointed because I wanted to win the match for India, but I got bowled. But this reaction was blown out of proportion and pin-pointed conveniently. It was a natural reaction. You cannot expect me to take people's permission to react in a certain way.

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