Mumbai: The Mumbai Cricket Association will honour Sachin Tendulkar by re-christening its newly built suburban Kandivali club the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana on 11 November.
"It is one of the best clubs developed by the MCA, even better than the Bandra-Kurla Complex [ground],” Sharad Pawar, the newly elected president of the association said at a press conference today.
Pawar said it was his idea to rename the club and Tendulkar was happy to accept the honour.
Tendulkar is set to play his final Test at the Wankhede Stadium from November 14-18 and this is the MCA’s way of giving of him a fitting send-off.
The MCA has invited the Indian and West Indian teams to attend the ceremony, as well as N Srinivasn, the BCCI president, and the other BCCI officials. Pawar said they have all accepted the invitation to the event, as have Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Uddhav Thackeray, the leader of the Shiv Sena, and several other politicians and bureaucrats.
“We would like to organise a grand show," Pawar said.
Former Mumbai Test and Ranji Trophy players have also been invited from both the women and men’s teams.
Pawar said that the Kandivali clubhouse will boast several photographs from Tendulkar’s career, as well as other bits of memorabilia.
On the subject of tickets for Tendulkar’s 200th and final Test, Pawar said fans from across the globe, including America, the UK, and Pakistan, had written to the association asking that tickets be set aside for them, with money no object. However, the MCA already has obligations to its member clubs, the Garaware Club, the government of India, the BCCI and others, so they were setting up a committee to examine how to allocate tickets to all concerned.
“Our position is very difficult but we we will manage, Pawar said without saying how many tickets will be go on sale to the general public.
He also denied that Tendulkar had demanded any tickets for his final game. “The managing committee decided to give him 500 tickets," he said.
Among the various tributes the MCA is planning for the Test are to have photos of Tendulkar printed on both sides of the tickets, as well as a commemorative book to be given away free to all those who attend the match.
"We have also got an offer from a publication in Nagpur for printing a book containing 150-160 pages filled with details of all the matches in which Tendulkar has made a century," Pawar said. The book will also contain essays on Tendulkar by former cricketers.
With inputs from PTI