Reading allows me to recharge my batteries.
I thought about cricket a lot. I needed to get out of this bubble of mine. I found it in books and conversations with other people about other things. I was a curious person, and this was my release. I like being challenged intellectually. I hated at the end of the day to talk cricket to someone else.
If someone thinks, 'I'll spend the off season working on my fitness and I'll come back a better cricketer,' I don't think that's enough. You need to spend a lot of time working on your skills and honing your skills.
A career in sport is almost impossible to manage without the support, and guidance, and reassurance of family and friends. During tough times, and there always are, this is whom we go to.
I think there's a culture in Rajasthan Royals that has been there before I got here, so I've come into it. I've enjoyed being part of it and embraced it. They are quite clear about the fact that bottom lines are important, and there is a certain limit on what you can spend.
Even though it's a shortened format of the game, Twenty20 allows people with different skills to play in a team and play their specific roles. Obviously there's not too much time to waste balls, but if you look at guys who play well in the top six, they have a fairly decent amount of good cricketing ability.
One of the great joys of being a slip fielder who takes a catch is you are able to contribute to the bowler's success. Yes, you are putting yourself in the firing line if you stuff it up, but you must want to be in that position to make a difference, and recognise sometimes that you might make mistakes. There are no easy catches in the slips.
Apart from being celebrities, there's a huge amount of respect associated with being cricketers and a certain amount of reverence and honour associated with representing India. In people's eyes, apart from other celebrities in India, I think for sportsmen in India there's a certain amount of regard.
My approach to cricket has been reasonably simple: it was about giving everything to the team, it was about playing with dignity and it was about upholding the spirit of the game. I hope I have done some of that. I have failed at times, but I have never stopped trying. It is why I leave with sadness but also with pride.