Watch: Sachin Tendulkar's golden reaction at being commemorated with life-size statue inside Mumbai's Wankhede stadium
On the occasion of Sachin Tendulkar's 50th birthday on April 24, 2023, the Master Blaster will be commemorated with a giant life-size statue that will be installed inside the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai
The great Sachin Tendulkar is set to be part of another first in the history of the Indian cricket with the legendary cricketer getting chosen to be felicitated with a special memento. On the occasion of Tendulkar's 50th birthday on April 24, 2023, the Master Blaster will be commemorated with a giant life-size statue that will be installed inside the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The statue of Tendulkar, a Bharat Ratna, and widely considered the greatest Indian batter of all time having compiled over 35000 international runs, is expected to unveiled either on Sachin's birthday, or during the World Cup later this year.
For Tendulkar, whose baby steps in cricket began in his home city of Mumbai, the special gesture could not have come at a more fitting venue than the Wankhede. It was at this very venue that Tendulkar became a World Cup winner in 2011 and two years later, played his final international game and 200th Test.
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"Well it's a pleasant surprise. The president is here, Mr. Kale and the other committee members are going to join us in a while. We've come here to identify a spot. The idea was shared with me, and as I said it is a pleasant surprise. My career had started here and this is like the completion of a big circle," Tendulkar told ANI.
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"It's been a journey with unbelievable memories and the best moment of my cricketing career came here when we won the World Cup in 2011. The reason that happened was a long time ago when [Ramakant] Achrekar sir (Sachin's coach) reprimanded me and from there on, I became a serious cricketer. The last international game I played as also at this very ground so it's very special and a great moment for me."
Tendulkar has a stand named on him at the Wankhede Stadium, and his wax statue at Madame Tussauds was installed in 2009, making him the first Indian sportsperson to get replica at the museum on his 36th birthday. 14 years later, Tendulkar is set to get another feather added in his already illustrious cap.
"It will be the first statue in Wankhede Stadium, we will decide where it will be placed. He (Tendulkar) is a Bharat Ratna and everyone knows what he has done for cricket. As he turns 50, it will be a small token of appreciation from the MCA. I spoke to him three weeks ago and his consent was received," Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president told The Indian Express.
Tendulkar has a fine record playing at the Wankhede Stadium, scoring 455 runs in 11 ODIs at an average of 41.36 including one century and three fifties. In fact, he is the batter with most success at the venue, followed by Mohammad Azharuddin and Virat Kohli. In Tests, Tendulkar has dished out 847 runs from 10 Tests at an average of 47.05. This includes a best of 148 against Sri Lanka in 1996-97.