I felt anxiety for 10-12 years, had many sleepless nights before a game: Sachin Tendulkar

Tags: India, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar

Published on: May 17, 2021

Former India batsman Sachin Tendulkar has said that he had anxiety issues for more than half of his international career. The Indian legend revealed that he experienced many sleepless nights on days before cricket matches.

At an interaction organised by Unacademy, Tendulkar opened up about battle with anxiety and said, "I felt the anxiety for 10-12 years, had many sleepless nights before a game. Later on I started accepting that it was part of my preparation. The I made peace with times I was not able to sleep in the night. I would start doing something to keep my mind comfortable." That "something" included shadow batting, watching TV and playing video games in the wee hours of the day. Even making his morning cup of tea helped him prepare for the game.”

The Master Blaster added that small things like making tea and ironing clothes were also part of his preparations for the game for him. He elaborated, "Making tea, ironing my clothes also helped me prepare for the game. I would pack my bag the day before the game, my brother taught me all of it and it became a habit. I followed the same drill even in the last match I played for India."

The legend opined that being mentally fit for a match also matters a lot. The mental aspect of the game has been pitchforked into focus in the wake of COVID-19. Tendulkar explained, "Over period of time I realised that besides preparing physically for a game, you have to prepare yourself mentally also. In my mind the match started long before I entered the ground. The anxiety levels were very high."

The former India batsman further said that ups and downs are part of a player’s career, and one must be ready to fight it out. "When there is an injury, physios and doctors examine you and diagnose what is wrong with you. Same is the case with mental health. It is normal for anyone to go through ups and downs and when you hit those lows you need people around. Acceptability is the key here. Not just for the player, for people around him also. Once you have accepted you start looking for solutions," Tendulkar added.

Sachin Tendulkar played 200 Tests and 463 ODIs, scoring 15921 and 18426 runs respectively.

--By A Cricket Correspondent

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