After playing an epic knock against Pakistan in 2003 World Cup, Sachin Tendulkar said that he was sleepless for 10-12 nights before the start of the match against arch-rivals Pakistan.

“Frankly, everyone was talking about the India-Pakistan game, literally 10 to 12 months before the World Cup started. The build-up had reached such a level that when we got to South Africa, we kept getting phone calls telling us that, come what may, we had to win that game. All of us were very keyed up for it as a result. I spent sleepless nights before that – a sign of the pressure, and also a way of getting ready for the game.” says Tendulkar.

“I do like it, because it’s part of my preparation for a game. For 12 to 13 nights, I just kept tossing and turning in my bed, thinking of the match. As it got closer, it became worse, and I just wanted to go to the middle and bat.”

Tendulkar also shrugged off the talks of battle between him and Shoaib or Caddick.  “I remember journalists coming up to me and saying `Shoaib has said this’ or `Caddick has said that’. I have never reacted to that. It¹s not my nature – I’ve always maintained that I should just get to the middle and do my job, rather than playing all those psychological games.”

A Fax from Dr Ali Bacher, chief of the World Cup organizing committee, to Sachin Tendulkar after his epic knock of 98.

“We wanted this World Cup to be the most successful World Cup ever and your innings against Pakistan at Centurion has helped us achieve that.”

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