Mumbai: India’s legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s life-size statue was unveiled at the Wankhede Stadium on the eve of India’s World Cup clash against Sri Lanka.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla, Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) President Amol Kale, Rajya Sabha member Sharad Pawar, and Sachin’s wife Anjali Tendulkar, daughter Sara Tendulkar, and brother Ajit Tendulkar were present during the unveiling of the statue.
The statue is dedicated to 50 years of Tendulkar’s life and has been installed by MCA near Sachin Tendulkar Stand at the stadium, and it was unveiled on Wednesday.
Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary, team India’s supporter and a fan of Sachin, was also present during the ceremony. He blew a conch shell and waved the Indian flag.
Designed and built by well-known sculptor from Ahmednagar, Pramod Kamble, in gleaming dark bronze metal, with a glittering finish — the statue will bring glory to the stadium as its first-ever ‘permanent residential statue’ of any cricketing hero till date.
According to Kamble, the Tendulakar statue measures 10 feet in height plus 4 feet — a total of 14 feet tall — in the classic pose he’s known for, hitting a sixer that drove the crowds raging wild wherever he played.
MCA insiders said that the statue was in planning since long as a tribute to Tendulkar’s 50th birthday and at one stage it was proposed to be erected at the MCA Club.
However, some MCA officials felt it would be ‘out of public view’ since the club access is only for the elite members, and suggested it should be right inside the stadium where thousands could view it.
The suggestion was readily accepted, and reportedly even earned Tendulkar’s nod for the spot where it now stands — in the classic ‘lofted drive’ pose.
Kamble said he met Tendulkar to discuss whether he wanted a standing pose or an action one, and he wanted the latter.
Then he got down to checking photos/videos of thousands of his ‘action poses’, all of which were good, and finally they selected the sixer shot in a lofted drive action pose, with his left leg extended, body slightly bent, head high and the bat pointing at the sky.
After selecting the correct pose, Kamble made several miniature models, then there were rounds of discussions on each model, and then ultimately he created the bronze statue in the finalised model that saw the light on Wednesday.
Sachin is considered as the greatest batter to have played the game. With 34,357 runs in 664 international appearances at an average of 48.52, Sachin is the highest run-scorer in international cricket. He has scored 100 centuries and 164 half-centuries, most in international cricket. He is the only player to have a century of centuries.
With 18,426 runs in ODIs and 15,921 runs in Tests, Sachin also has the highest runs in both formats. He is the first player to hit an ODI double hundred and to have played 200 Test matches.
He also has 201 international wickets to his name, making him a very useful part-time spin bowling option. With a total of 664 international appearances, he is the most-capped player of all time. He is part of the Indian Team which won the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011.
Six IPL seasons
Sachin has played six IPL seasons from 2008-2013, all for Mumbai Indians, where he has scored a total of 2334 runs in 78 matches at an average of 34.84. Sachin has 13 fifties and one hundred under his belt, hitting 29 sixes and 295 fours with a strike rate of 119.82. He won the 2013 edition of the tournament with the franchise as a player.
Sachin’s best performance came in IPL 2010. He scored 618 runs in 15 matches at an average of 47.53 at a strike rate of 132.61. He scored five fifties that season and his best individual score was 89*. He won the ‘Orange Cap’ that season. MI finished as runners-up that season.
Tendulkar, who was conferred a Bharat Ratna in 2014, is a veteran of 15,921 runs in 200 Test matches, 18,426 ODI scores, and had played his farewell match at the Wankhede Stadium, drawing curtains on a cricketing career of over two decades.