Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has earned the respect of millions of fans around the world and also of world-class players like Brett Lee, who went up against him.
The former Australian speedster continues to be great friends with the Little Master off the field, although they have had some fierce battles on it. Lee notably made his debut for Australia during the 1999-00 home series against India, whose batting line-up was led by Tendulkar.
Before the series began, Lee played a tour game against India representing the Prime Minister's XI. This is where he first bowled to Tendulkar and even managed to dismiss him.
Speaking in a video on his YouTube channel, Brett Lee opened up on how he felt when he first bowled to the great man himself. He said:
"I first met Sachin Tendulkar during the PM's XI match in 1999. Here I am bowling in Canberra to one of my heroes and it was a surreal feeling. I was fortunate enough to get him out and then I thought 'I am done, I am content. My life in cricket is complete'. But when you get that taste of getting a great batter out, you want more."
Brett Lee on Sachin Tendulkar's fan-following
As Brett Lee got to know more about Sachin Tendulkar as a person, he realized how down-to-earth the Indian legend was.
Regardless, his exploits on the field meant the world-class batter had fans all over the world, with the craze for him in India reaching a different level altogether.
Lee recalled one of his visits to India when he realized just how big a religion cricket was in the country and why Tendulkar had been given 'God' status. He said:
"Although Sachin has played 200 Tests and has nearly 500 ODIs under his belt with 15-16 thousand runs, the thing I noted about him was how humble he is."
The Australian added:
"He is followed everywhere in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, England. He is God. When I came to India 25 years ago, I got to know from the people on the streets that 'Sachin > God'."
Brett Lee played 76 Tests, 221 ODIs and 25 T20Is for Australia, picking up 718 wickets across all formats to end his career as one of the all-time greats.
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