Tendulkar's next big hit, a film release

Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, seen here at a photo call in Mumbai for his forthcoming biopic Sachin: A Billion Dreams.
Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, seen here at a photo call in Mumbai for his forthcoming biopic Sachin: A Billion Dreams.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

MUMBAI • A hotly anticipated film about the life of Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar hits cinemas this week but the batting great says he might find watching it an unsettling experience.

"I am used to seeing myself on a big screen inside the stadium, not inside a movie theatre," he said ahead of tomorrow's release of Sachin: A Billion Dreams.

The docu-drama, directed by Emmy-nominated British filmmaker James Erskine, took four years to make and traces Tendulkar's life from aspiring cricketer to arguably the greatest batsman of all time.

It features real footage, including clips from his matches and interviews with colleagues and family and current stars, including Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

It uses actors to recreate some scenes from the 44-year-old's childhood in Mumbai.

Tendulkar, who played 200 Tests and enjoys an almost god-like status in cricket-mad India, consented to the biopic but admitted that letting the cameras into his family life did not come naturally.

"Being a private person, I always believed I should let my bat do the talking, stay focused on the game and give all my energy over there," said the "Little Master" in an interview.

"There are personal moments in the film and some family footage. I know fans want to see something more than what they have in the last 24 years.

"Nobody knows what was going on in my mind at that time so we have spoken a lot about highs and lows and the line between me, my family and fans."

The right-hander made his debut for India aged just 16 in 1989 and broke almost every batting record possible before retiring from professional cricket in 2013.

The former Indian captain is the only cricketer to have scored 100 international centuries and is the highest scorer in international cricket with more than 34,000 runs.

He published his autobiography in 2014 and there is not much that cricket fans do not know about him.

But Erskine, who has made several acclaimed sports films, insists the docu-drama will reveal new aspects about his life.

"You might know the stats, you might know how he performed in certain matches, but you don't know what happens when he goes off-stage, in his house - his private life, his hopes, dreams, his highs and sorrows," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2017, with the headline 'Tendulkar's next big hit, a film release'. Print Edition | Subscribe