Sachin Tendulkar, as admired now as in his playing days, feels athletes will have to adjust to performing in arenas minus spectators. The 47-year-old Bharat Ratna continues to be a crowd puller, besides having 23.7 million followers on Instagram, nearly 33 million on Twitter and another 28 million on Facebook. He spoke to Soumitra Bose on what fans meant to him in an international career spanning 24 years. Excerpts:
Pakistan and West Indies are touring England in July. Bundesliga and Premier League are underway but fans are missing. Isn’t that a strange feeling?
Yes, indeed. We always enjoyed playing in stadiums which were full. They are a major stakeholder in the sporting ecosystem. It’s certainly a bit of shock to walk out on the pitch and not see anyone around.
What did spectators mean to you?
They were a big part of me. I drew a lot of energy from them. Whether it’s at home or away, crowds made competition interesting. When stands are full and the crowd...