TEN YEARS after he retired from cricket, a life-size statue of Sachin Tendulkar will be installed inside the iconic Wankhede stadium in Mumbai where he played his final game for India.
Cricket officials are hoping the statue will be unveiled on April 23, Tendulkar’s 50th birthday, or during the 50-over World Cup later this year.
“It will be the first statue in Wankhede Stadium, we will decide where it will be placed,” Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president Amol Kale told The Indian Express.
“He (Tendulkar) is a Bharat Ratna and everyone knows what he has done for cricket. As he turns 50, it will be a small token of appreciation from the MCA. I spoke to him three weeks ago and his consent was received,” Kale said.
Tendulkar has a stand named after him at the Wankhede. A season ago, the MCA decided to honour the former India captain Sunil Gavaskar with a corporate box and batting ace Dilip Vengsarkar with a stand.
There are not many life-size statues of cricketers inside stadiums in the country. There are three separate such statues of the former big-hitting India great C K Nayudu at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, VDCA Stadium in Andhra and and Holkar Stadium in Indore.
At the same time, there are wax statues of several players with stands named after them in their respective state associations. Many former cricket greats have also found a place at Madame Tussauds in London.
One of the most famous statues of cricketers is that of the late Shane Warne at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. “It’s a great honour, it’s a bit weird seeing yourself up there but I’m very proud,” Warne had said at its unveiling in 2011. “It’s 300 kilos, that statue! it’s pretty life-like for when I played!”
Tendulkar played 200 Test matches, 463 ODIs and one T20 for India. He holds the record for most hundreds (100) and runs (34,357) in international cricket.