Sachin said, 'Keep these gloves'
It was ‘Cricket with Vijay Merchant’, an All India Radio programme hosted by the great batsman in the ’70s, that changed Marcus Couto’s life forever. “I was hooked; I was part of its live audience for eight-and-half years as Merchant Sir’s guest,” says the 47-year-old memorabilia collector.
Merchant also initiated him into the world of memorabilia. “In 1983, he gifted me his India tie of the 1936 tour to England and from then on I started collecting ties and other mementoes,” recalls Couto.
He now has over 400 ties, including one given to Sunil Gavaskar by an Australian club, Premier Club, which chronicles every Test duck scored by batsmen and gifts a tie featuring the water bird to the batsman who scores one.
His personal favourite, however, is a pair of batting gloves that belonged to Sachin Tendulkar. “I had told Sachin that the Australian team would record his innings in the 2001 tour match. And he replied, ‘Ask them to carry lots of cassettes for I’m going to play a long innings’.” Sachin had scored 205 in that match while playing for Mumbai. “After the knock, he gave me the gloves, saying, ‘I haven’t given you anything; keep this’,” recalls Couto.
But he now wants to donate his collection to a genuine collector. Why? “I thought I’d pass on the legacy to my son, but he’s only interested in football,” Couto explains. Any takers?