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HindustanTimes Fri,31 Oct 2014
Eden awaits special chance
Somshuvra Laha, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, April 24, 2013
First Published: 00:57 IST(24/4/2013)
Last Updated: 02:38 IST(24/4/2013)

There is a third reason why April 24, 1998 will be always remain a day to remember.

It was India's best ever batsman's birthday and he did make it even more special with a dominating innings that knocked the wind out of Australia's sails and gave nightmares to the greatest ever leg-spinner. But it was also the only international match that had ever coincided with his birthday in a glittering career. The only other instance was in 2011 when Mumbai Indians beat Deccan Chargers in Hyderabad.

Wednesday will be only his third match on birthday. He will be in blue, but of Mumbai and not India.

But you can't take Mumbai out of India's favourite son. Right from the days Tendulkar honed his skills at the maidan to the moment India regained the World Cup at the Wankhede, Mumbai holds a unique place in his heart. His remuneration is classified information but no sum of money would perhaps be enough to equal the emotional connect Tendulkar has with the city. Safe to say Mumbai Indians are incomplete without Sachin Tendulkar.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/Popup/2013/4/24_04_pg18b.jpg

Which perhaps tells us why Tendulkar continues playing this league despite having played just one in national colors. If there are any regrets, not being able to see Mumbai Indians win this T20 tournament would be one of them.

Logic says it's difficult to reproduce the form he showed 15 years ago. But Tendulkar is special.

Wednesday thus will be a celebration of Tendulkar's longevity, his dedication towards the game and the steadfast discipline that actually made him what he is.

No matter what he scores, Eden Gardens will be packed to salute the master.


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