World War II veteran Reg Ellis enthralled after meeting Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar invited Reg Ellis to watch India’s warm-up match at Canberra Getty Images

By CricketCountry Staff

Adelaide: Dec 18, 2011

The last survivor of the Victory Test matches played by ex-servicemen after the end of the second World War, 94-year-old Reg Ellis from Adelaide, was ecstatic after meeting Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar during Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Canberra on Wednesday.

Ellis and his team, which included future Test cricketers Flying Officer Kieth Miller and Warrant Officer Lindsay Hassett were also honoured at the function.

The World War II veteran Ellis had flew in 11 missions over occupied Europe – including two when he landed a heavily damaged plane wheels up.

But he was happier talking about cricket, and not war.

“It was fantastic. The Indian team couldn’t have been better. The chap who made 219 (Virender Sehwag, who recently set the one-day international record) – I spoke to him for quite a while,” Ellis was quoted by Adelaide Now.

“Tendulkar, he grasped my hand and was very friendly. He invited me to be the guest of the Indian team when they played in Canberra the next day but I had to come home.”

The World War II veteran was interviewed by Mark Nicholas, and shared stories of a world tour that included unofficial Tests in England, as well as matches in India and Australia.