Chandigarh: Oct 21, 2013
With Sachin Tendulkar set to play his last Ranji Trophy tie for Mumbai, former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Ranbir Mahendra said it’s a great honour for Haryana and the state’s cricket association to play host to someone who has been the game’s legend.
“It’s definitely a great honour for Haryana and Haryana Cricket Association that Sachin is set to play in our state, barely days before he retires,” Mahendra, also a former Congress MLA from the state, told PTI over phone.
In order to prepare for the two-match Test series against the West Indies next month, Tendulkar will play for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy preliminary round match against Haryana from October 27-30 at Ch Bansi Lal stadium at Lahli, a small town in Rohtak district, about 270 km from Chandigarh.
Mahendra said that in 1989, when Tendulkar began his international career, he was the secretary of the BCCI.
“In 1991-92, I was the manager of the Indian team which toured Australia, of which Tendulkar was a part,” said Mahendra, who was the president of the Board in 2004.
He said his son Anirudh Chaudhry (currently BCCI treasurer) was the manager of the touring Indian team to England in 2011, which featured Tendulkar in the squad.
“When Anirudh was part of the tour to England, Tendulkar told his dressing room colleagues that while he does not know [fate] about his other [cricketing] records, but one record he was sure will never be broken. This, Tendulkar, said that Ranbir Mahendra and Anirudh Chaudhry [father-son duo] have both been his managers,” Mahendra said.
At present, the 37-year-old Chaudhry, also a senior functionary of the HCA, is busy at the Lahli stadium making the final preparations.
“The stadium has a capacity of about 8,000 and we expect a huge number of Tendulkar fans to watch the contest. It surely is going to be a memorable moment for all of us,” Mahendra informed.
While Tendulkar may cherish the Haryana match which will come just days before his retirement, he also has another connection with Haryana’s common capital Chandigarh, where many winters ago in November 1990, he took guard on his debut international match on Indian soil.
Tendulkar will retire after playing the landmark 200th Test against the West Indies at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai from November 14-18.
The first Test against the West Indies — Tendulkar’s 199th — will be played at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata from November 6-10.