Former Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has picked the spot at the Wankhede Stadium where the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) is going to install his statue in the coming months. The Indian Express had previously reported on the MCA’s plans to erect a statue of Tendulkar inside the stadium premises.
Tendulkar was invited by MCA president Amol Kale on Tuesday morning to decide the place where his statue can be installed. He picked a spot just opposite the MCA lounge.
“The committee guided me, and in the area outside the MCA lounge, there will be a roundabout which will be created, and the statue will come up there. The background of it will be the stadium and all our action happened there (inside the ground). It is one spot, a crowd can come and get pictures clicked, and at the same time it is accessible,” Tendulkar said after finalising the place.
He was shown three spots, one outside the BCCI headquarters, one inside the upcoming MCA museum ground floor building, and the other outside the MCA lounge which is next to the Garware Pavilion. Tendulkar was accompanied by his wife Anjali.
“My journey started from here only, I had come to the stadium to support Shardashram (Vidyamandir) senior team. I left my match and it was then that Achrekar sir reprimanded me, the journey began from there,” the former Mumbai batsman recalled.
“Those children who used to do well in Mumbai cricket, they were kept as ball boys. I was a ball boy here too. I played Mumbai first-class cricket here and all my big moments happened at the venue. For me, the biggest moment in my life came in the 2011 World Cup and it happened on this ground. My retirement also happened here, with this ground, I have an emotional attachment towards it and I can’t compare it with anything,” he added.
Tendulkar will be turning 50 on April 24 and the MCA was planning to honour him for his service towards cricket. “It was a pleasant surprise, the president Mr (Amol) Kale is here. The idea was shared to me and I was surprised. I’m still 25 years old with 25 years of experience (laughs),” he quipped.
MCA president Kale stated that the statue will be placed during the ICC ODI World Cup which is scheduled to take place in India in October-November later this year. “We wanted to keep it on Sachin’s 50th birthday but the statue will take some time to be ready. So, most probably, his statue will be unveiled during the World Cup,” Kale informed.
Tendulkar will be the first player from Mumbai to have his statue inside the stadium premises.
Tendulkar played 200 Test matches, 463 ODIs and one T20 for India. He holds the record for most number of hundreds in international cricket (100) and also has the most number of runs in international cricket.