The whole of India woke up on the Dussera Day to the tragic news of Tom Alter s passing away. The veteran actor lost the battle to skin cancer and passed away on Friday night. Alter known for his acting and writing skills was awarded Padma Shri by the Indian government. Alter was a sports lover and has written on cricket as well. In fact, it was Alter who had interviewed a 15-year-old Sachin Tendulkar in 1989 ahead of India s tour to West Indies when the selectors were considering the teenage prodigy. The video is remembered as Tendulkar s first video interview.

Recently, Alter spoke about the video and recalled how Dilip Vengsarkar introduced him to the teen sensation who was practicing with the Bombay (now Mumbai) team.

I clearly remember the interaction. It was his first video interview. I wouldn t say he was naive, but rather innocent and soft spoken. Though a little shy in front of the camera, the boy was very confident without being a show-off, Alter recalled the event in an interview with Times of India.

Harsha Bhogle expressed his grief on Alter s death.

Alter, of American descent of English and Scottish ancestry, was born in Mussoorie. He was a popular name in the world of cinema, television, theatre and journalism. He has also worked with legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray.

In an official statement, Tom Alters s son Jamie Alter said, It is with sadness we announce the death of Tom Alter, actor, writer, director, Padma Shri, and our dear husband and father. Tom passed away Friday night at home with his family and close family members in attendance. We ask for their privacy to be respected at this time.

Jamie is a renowned cricket journalist, who in the past has also written for CricketCountry.