Mumbai:It was the Chennai Test win over England that brought some smiles on the face of a grief-struck nation following the Mumbai terror attacks on November 26.
As a year has gone by since those horrific terror strikes, NDTV's Srinivasan Jain talks to the most adored Mumbaikar and the architect of that win, Sachin Tendulkar about the impact that the incident had on him.
Here are the excerpts of the exclusive interview
Srinivasan: I want to take you back to the attacks one year back. Where were you? How did you first come to hear about it?
Sachin: We were playing against England in Cuttack. We switched on the TV in our dressing room and we could not believe our eyes as to what was happening in Mumbai. And it was hard to believe. I thought are they showing a movie or something. None of us had seen something like this earlier.
Srinivasan: And it was an utter shock?
Sachin: Yeah and we could not stop talking about it. We thought it would stop now and we reached back to the hotel. But it went for a long time and we went numb after sometime.
Srinivasan: How did it affect you being a Mumbaikar?
Sachin: It's hard to express how I feel as a Mumbaikar. Places like Taj, Oberoi and CST, this is where there are so many people. Growing as a child I used to travel by train. I was very much a part of that. And you see those places being attacked. It's tough to express what I felt because there are so many people I know who have lost they loved ones. Even my children, their friends from school have lost their loved ones. It's very close to my family. It is very difficult to believe that those people are not there between us.
Srinivasan: After the England tour was called off it was uncertain if the English team would come back. But they came back and carried on.
Sachin: A big thanks to the England team. If they hadn't come, people would have found it difficult. For a fraction of a second, the Test match sought of diverted out minds. You cannot compare Test victory with the minds of people and sacrifice their lives for us. That loss is forever and all I feel as a part of cricket team we were able to bring smiles and divert their minds.
Srinivasan: Absolutely. I think it is important psychologically. You can't compare a cricket match with what happened.
Sachin: If you see the emotions it is the only time when all the grounds men and grounds women came up to congratulate us. That itself speaks for it.
Srinivasan: Was it the first time it happened?
Srinivasan: And also about the century. You said it will have a special place in your life.
Sachin: That particular match I will not hesitate to say that it was the most important match of my life.
Srinivasan: And the century?
Sachin: It is not about the century but the match and the victory. It meant so much for the entire nation.
Entire interview with Sachin Tenulkar airs on Thursday night at 8.30 pm on NDTV 24X7