New Delhi: Terming Sachin Tendulkar's retirement a huge loss for world cricket, former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq says bowling to the Indian has always been an "absolute pleasure".
"The world of one day cricket has suffered a huge loss with Sachin Tendulkar's retirement from one day internationals. There will never be another cricketer like Tendulkar," Saqlain said. "He's been at the top of the game for twenty three years which is simply amazing and the way he has conducted himself throughout his career has been exemplary and a lesson to all young cricketers around the world," he added.
One of the game's all-time greats, Tendulkar, on Sunday announced his retirement from one-day cricket, bringing to an end a glorious 23-year-old career in the format during which he rewrote numerous batting records. "I feel honoured to have played cricket in an era when Tendulkar played. It's been an honour to have bowled to Sachin. I've dismissed him, been hit for four, hit for six by Sachin, beaten him with deliveries. He's out thought me at the crease and sometimes I've got the better of him and it's always been an absolute pleasure," Saqlain was quoted as saying by PakPassion.net.
The off-spinner last played an international match way back in 2004. Recalling the time he spent with Tendulkar in England, Saqlain said, "I've always got on very well with Sachin and when I was playing for Sussex alongside Mushtaq Ahmed, the touring Indian team was playing a three day match against the County. Most of the Indian squad had dinner at Mushtaq's house every night during that match and I was present too.
On resumption of cricket ties between India and Pakistan, he said: "It's fantastic news that India and Pakistan are on the verge of a limited overs series and I sincerely hope that this is the start of regular cricket between the two teams. The Ashes is also a huge rivalry but I think India versus Pakistan is a bigger cricketing rivalry."