Mumbai: Another honour comes Sachin Tendulkar's way. This time, on the cusp of his 40th birthday to be celebrated on Wednesday.
On Saturday, cricket fans at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Australia will see the unveiling of Tendulkar's waxwork courtesy Madame Tussauds in Sydney.
The waxwork which is expected to be a replica of the one in London, will later be displayed in the museum at scenic Darling Harbour, near the Sydney Aquarium.
Members of the famous Swami Army have been invited to the official unveiling at the SCG. In an email communication, members of the support group have been told that this is a "once in a lifetime opportunity to take your photo with the life size figure of the greatest Indian cricketer ever."
Tendulkar's waxwork will be displayed alongside statues of Sir Don Bradman and Shane Warne. The Mumbai master was delighted to receive another Bradman-related honour. To top it, this has come close to his 40th birthday (April 24). "It is," Tendulkar said when asked whether the honour was a fine birthday gift. "It is nice that it coincides with my birthday. It's a wonderful way to start," he said.
To be placed alongside Bradman in the museum thrilled him. "Anything to do with Sir Don is always an honour. I'm really happy and excited," he said, admitting that memories of the 1998 trip to Bradman's residence in Adelaide to wish the great man on his 90th birthday keep coming back. "That was a special experience for me; the highlight of my life. I remember catching up with Warnie some time after that trip and speaking about the visit," he said.
The fact that the statue will be displayed in a city that houses his favourite overseas arena — the Sydney Cricket Ground — is special too.
"The SCG is my favourite ground — without any doubt, so it makes it even more special. I have some wonderful memories of that ground," Tendulkar told MiD DAY from Delhi on Thursday night ahead of Mumbai Indians' Sunday clash with Delhi Daredevils in the Indian Premier League.
Tendulkar has scored three Test hundreds at the SCG including a 241 not out in 2004 — his best Test score then.
On Saturday, he will delight his fans who will assemble at the historic ground to witness the unveiling of the waxwork. "It is difficult for all my well wishers to personally meet me. This is possibly the closest they can get to my real life size and see from a closer distance," said Tendulkar. Being next to arguably the greatest spin bowler in the game delighted the batting great as well. "It's an absolute honour. Both (Bradman and Warne) are absolute champions. To be in the same company is special," he said.