New Delhi:He is being treated like a demi god by his loyal fans in India for his cricketing exploits but Sachin Tendulkar is humbleness personified who feels that nobody is bigger than the game.
"No, never. Nobody is bigger than the game. Cricket teaches you every day. If you start feeling that you are bigger than cricket, sooner comes the fall," Tendulkar, Test cricket's most prolific run getter and scorer of most centuries, said.
"When I started learning cricket from my coach Ramakant Achrekar, I was told clearly by him that not only I should respect the game, I should worship cricket also and than only cricket will take care of me. I still believe in that," Tendulkar, known for his humbleness despite his unrivalled achievements and adulation by fans, told a TV channel.
The Mumbai batsman, who had already featured in five World Cups, was non-committal when asked whether he would play in the 2011 World Cup to be held in the sub-continent.
"Every cricketer wants to be a part of a World Cup winning team. Same is the thing with me. If I get a chance to be part of a world cup winning team it will be a great thing for me," he added.
Tendulkar picked Sunil Gavaskar and West Indian great Vivian Richards as his cricketing role models.
"I always wanted to be a combination of Gavaskar and Viv Richards. I admired their batting styles," he said.
Asked about his best innings in his illustrious 19 years of cricketing career, he said, "1992, Perth against Australia. I was 18 years old and scored my third Test hundred on a very difficult pitch. In the hindsight it proved to be the turning point in my career. I gained confidence of a lifetime on that day."
Asked about the saddest moment of his cricketing career, Tendulkar said, "2003 World Cup final. We were so close to winning the World Cup and we were really playing good cricket at that time."
"We were over aggressive in that game. There was a sense of compulsion inside us to win that match and we went too hard in the game. Had we got that kind of chance again, I am sure we would have prepared for the game in a different way."
35-year-old Tendulkar said he will miss retiring stalwarts Sourav Ganguly and Anil Kumble.
"I used to talk with Ganguly in Bengali. How correct was my language I don't know. But we had great time both on the field and off the field. While batting we both understood each other better and talking to each other.
"Similarly with Kumble I have spent a lot of time. He has played for the country for 18 long years. One can't become Ganguly or Kumble overnight; it takes years of perseverance to reach that level. Surely I will miss both of them," he said.