‘Forgot about all social distancing, holding on to Adam Gilchrist’ - Sachin Tendulkar recalls ‘Desert Storm’ incident

Despite all the hazards, the Master Blaster got a 131-ball 143, though the knock went in vain.

Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar narrates the scary incident (Photo by Kunal Patil/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

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Sachin Tendulkar was otherwise a fearless personality, but the ‘Desert Storm’ at Sharjah back in 1998 did send shivers down his spine. The Master Blaster got scared off getting blown away to such an extent that he grabbed Adam Gilchrist, the wicketkeeper. The Indian and Australian players eventually had to leave the field after play was interrupted due to the storm.

Sachin was dominating the Aussie bowling after Steve Waugh and Co managed to amass 284 for seven courtesy Michael Bevan’s unbeaten 103-ball 101. The latter also got support from opener Mark Waugh, who notched a 99-ball 81 before being dismissed by Sachin.

Sachin Tendulkar narrates the scary incident

“This was my first ever experience. I had never seen a desert storm like that. When I saw that, the first thought was that I was gonna get blown away by this. Adam Gilchrist was standing right behind me,” Sachin was quoted as saying on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’.

“The storm was so strong that I decided to forget about all social distancing and was ready to hold on to him because if the storm blows me away then at least there will be an 80-90 kilos Adam Gilchrist with me, so I was thinking literally like that, that’s when the umpires decided to leave the field,” he added.

After play resumed, the Men in Blue were set a revised target of 276 from 46 overs. India, captained by Mohammad Azharuddin, lost the match by 26 runs and Sachin wasn’t a happy man. He reckoned that enough deductions weren’t made from the initial target.

“We went inside the dressing room thinking of the new revised target, what it would be. Eventually (when play resumed) we had 46 overs but if I’m not mistaking only 8-9 runs were deducted from the target so I was quite upset,” he added.

Sachin churned out 143 runs off 131 balls with nine fours and five sixes. He fell prey to Damien Fleming in the 43rd over after which things went downhill for India. However, the knock was enough to take India to the final. Sachin got a ton in the final as well, this time coming in a winning cause.

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