Sachin Tendulkar’s contribution on the field is obviously unmatched by anyone in the history of the sport, but what many don’t know is his role off the field in order to maintain peace and tranquillity in the dressing room. It’s not for nothing that the Master played with almost four generations and his relations with all of them are very good.
One will find his seniors like Kapil Dev and Sanjay Manjrekar getting along with him as much as his juniors, Harbhajan and Yuvraj etc. One such occasion when Ganguly was the captain arose in 2002 against Sri Lanka when Sehwag had yet again got a start and threw his wicket away. John Wright the coach who shared a close relationship with the opener became very angry and their was a scuffle that took place.
“We were sitting in the balcony outside the dressing room at The Oval. Sehwag had just got out and gone into the dressing-room. Suddenly an agitated captain Ganguly came out from the room and complained to me that the coach had slapped Sehwag who was sobbing,” Rajiv Shukla, then team manager recalled. “I rushed to the dressing-room and found that Sehwag was indeed sobbing. He told me that Wright had pushed him. I patted him and controlled him.”
An angry Ganguly demanded that Wright should apologise to the entire team and this, says Shukla, put him in a difficult position. He immediately consulted Sachin Tendulkar and the team’s media manager Amrit Mathur. “The advice I got was that in case Wright apologised to the whole team, his authority will be eroded. I thought this was a valid point,” Shukla said. Yet again Sachin Tendulkar saved the day as he felt if the coach apologised he would lose respect.