Mumbai: It was a record that brought India's greatest cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar, into the limelight. The document that was witness to a historic partnership has been destroyed forever. Burnt by the Mumbai School Sports Association for, believe it or not, lack of storage space.
Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli shared a record 664-run partnership, playing for Shardashram Vidya Mandir against St. Xavier's in Harris Shield on February 24, 1988.
It was the highest partnership for any wicket in any class of cricket in a tournament organised by the Mumbai School Sports Association (MSSA).
But the association has done away with the original score sheet. MSSA Cricket Secretary HS Bhor said, "It was like any other sheet from a normal game and few years back, white ants ate into those sheets".
For many, this score sheet was a historic document. Not so for the Mumbai School Sports Association which destroyed it as if it was just a piece of paper. Cricket lovers are aghast at what the association has done. Sachin would perhaps be disappointed too.
Shockingly, Mr Bhor defended this action saying, "The score sheet was kept along with all the other records of games and has since been incinerated as we could not store them all. You cannot expect us to store files that are 25 years old."
For an association that conducts school sports, this lapse shows the bureaucratic manner in which it functions. The association could have framed the document, presented it to Sachin or even given it a place of prominence in its own office. Sadly, it chose to destroy it.
The Headmaster of Sharadashram Vidyamandir Krishan Shirsat said, "I do not know how to react. It is the association's responsibility to safeguard historic documents."
The 664-run stand was a world record till Manoj Kumar and Mohammed Shaibaz of St. Peter's High School surpassed it in a match against St. Phillip's High School in 2006-2007 when they scored 721 runs together.
Father Jude, the President of the Mumbai School Sports Association told NDTV, "I will be looking into the matter seriously and see what documents are missing. I will discuss this with the staff. It is a very serious matter."