Published:September 30, 2017 6:41 pm
Sachin Tendulkar was only 15 when he gave his first TV interview, and the man assigned to take the interview was none other than sports enthusiast Tom Alter, who passed away at the age of 67 at his Mumbai residence on Saturday.
Alter was diagnosed with Stage 4 skin cancer in early September. His son Jamie Alter said in an official statement, “It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father. Tom passed away Friday night at home with his family and close family members in attendance. We ask for their privacy to be respected at this time.”
Here is an excerpt from Tendulkar’s TV interview that took place on 19th January, 1989 in Mumbai:
Sachin, you must be getting tired now of giving interviews?
No, I think this is just the start.
Ya, it is a part of being a cricket star. If you get selected to go to the West Indies, will you be happy about that or would you want to wait for a few more years?
This is the right time to go.
You don’t think you are too young?
Do you prefer facing fast bowlers?
I like to play fast bowlers because the ball comes straight to the bat.
You bowl for your school team right? What kind of bowling do you do?
After learning the news of Alter’s death, Tendulkar paid his tributes on social media, calling him a sports lover and a good human being.
— sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 30 September 2017
Alter wanted Dhoni to be banned
Alter did not just stop at interviews of athletes but also held and expressed strong opinion on them. After Mahendra Singh Dhoni retired from Test cricket in 2014, Alter had said in a piece on Firstpost that he should be banned from representing India. “He should be banned from representing India ever again. He has not only broken his contract, he has broken a sacred bond with those of us who truly love Indian cricket and he does not give a damn. Why? Because he is the corporate favourite, the boss’ and the bosses’ favourite, and for them losing or winning is not important, it is all ‘brand’ and money and such total and utter rubbish.”
The American-origin actor settled in India is remembered for starring in television shows like ‘Bharat Ek Khoj’, ‘Junoon’, ‘Zabaan Sambhalke’ and ‘Betaal Pachisi,’ The Padma Shri award winner had a flourishing career on stage, and on the big screen, he has played pivotal roles in successful films like ‘Gandhi’, ‘Shatranj Ke Khilari’, ‘Kranti’, ‘Aashiqui’ and ‘Parinda.’
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