Fourteen-year-old Vinay from the Madras Dyslexia Association school Ananya waited impatiently to meet the "greatest player on earth" Brian Lara. The West Indies captain did not disappoint him.
Lara met Vinay and some 150 other children from several city schools Friday evening at an interactive session organised by NGOs working to educate children from the poorer sections of society
Lara is in the city for the third India-West Indies one-day international cricket tie here Saturday.
Vinay was armed with a 10-cm long toy bat and lots of paper, as he wanted to collect at least 14 autographs from the master batsman "for my friends who could not come".
"I have always liked Lara more than anyone else," said Vinay for whom the evening was indeed a dream come true.
"I love playing with children," Lara said, shaking hands with each one of them present at the event. He also played cricket with them under floodlights.
"I have 10 brothers and sisters...I am the youngest of them...I know how it is to get the chance to play with an older player," Lara confided to the children.
At the end of the interaction, he said: "I played first in 1990, when I was just 19, in Pakistan. I am still here 15-16 years later...so that is testimony of my love for the game."
Ten-year-old Sneha from Vel's Vidyashram did not know much about the great cricketer, but that did not prevent her from coming to see him. "I have come to see him, so that I can tell my classmates," she said excitedly.
Ned Swarup of ING Vysya, one of the organisers, said: "India is a great cricket-playing nation. Our aim is to provide this platform for some of the less privileged children to come here and shake hands with Brian Lara and interact with him questions."