World Cup win is an unfulfilled dream - Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar has said winning the World Cup is an "unfulfilled dream" for him and though he said he would like to play the 2011 edition of the tournament he didn't want to commit to anything that far away.

If Tendulkar plays in the tournament that will be jointly hosted by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, it'll be a record sixth World Cup appearance for him. "I am enjoying my cricket at the moment and don't want to think too much into the future," Tendulkar told CNN-Lokmat, a regional language news channel. "I have been playing almost non-stop for 20 years and want to focus only on the present. I prefer to take series by series."

Though he didn't specify when he would retire, Tendulkar said even after he quit he would like to be associated with the game. "I would like to spend more time with my family, but will in some way be connected with cricket. The only thing I have known in all these years is to play cricket and I would have to be always associated with the game."

Tendulkar missed the second Test against South Africa in Ahmedabad - where India suffered an innings defeat - and is set to miss the third one in Kanpur as well because of a groin injury he picked up during the first Test in Chennai. He said playing cricket had never been for the money.

"I never played the game thinking about the money I would make out of it, and neither do the youngsters [think like that] today. This game has given me sleepless nights, just thinking of how I will play the next day. That excitement can never be measured in terms of money. Right from the start, all I wanted was to play well and score as many runs as possible. That has been my motivation, not money."

Tendulkar also denied reports that there were rifts in the Indian team. "These reports of senior-junior rift are totally false. In the team, seniors and juniors respect each other, and we realise the importance of playing for the country. The media is damaging its credibility by giving stories without authentic information."

Asked who he thought was the most inspiring captain he had encountered, Tendulkar said Nasser Hussain, the former England captain, was one who was always two steps ahead of the game.

Meanwhile, Lalchand Rajput, the coach of the Mumbai Indians, is confident Tendulkar will be fit in time to lead the franchise in the IPL. "Sachin is a player who does not like to miss any games," he told PTI. "I am sure the physio will take care of him and he will be all right in time for the IPL."