Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar today fondly remembered former BCCI President Raj Singh Dungarpur's big role in shaping up his cricket career.
"Rajbhai has played an immense role in making me the cricketer that I am and giving me the opportunities that I had in my life," the 41-year old said at the book launch 'Raj Singh Dungarpur A Tribute'.
It was Dungarpur who was instrumental in amending the rules of the CCI to allow Tendulkar use its dressing room as a 14-year-old, making things smooth for the champion batsman very early in his glittering career.
"I was only 13 years old and CCI was playing against Shivaji Park youngsters and I scored some runs. Under 18 were not allowed to be in the dressing room. Rajbhai said we have to make him (Tendulkar) play for CCI. "For him (Tendulkar) the rule doesn't apply. He has to use all the facilities and make sure that he is happy.
"It was a new environment for me and he was instrumental in making me comfortable and that is where the ball started rolling," the iconic batsman reminisced.
Tendulkar also recollected how Dungarpur had played a part in finding sponsor for him, so that he could be part of the Star Cricket Club, which would tour England.
"I didn't have deep pockets and Rajbhai was again instrumental in finding a sponsor for me. He said in his own style 'you should play cricket and leave the rest to me'. With that kind of support and encouragement, all you want to do is score as many runs as possible," Tendulkar said.