On Monday, the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) formally renamed the Kandivili ground as the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana Club. This is part of a long list of events chalked out for Tendulkar, who will be retiring after his 200th and final Test match at the Wankhede Stadium from November 14. Players from both Indian and West Indian teams were present in today's felicitation ceremony. Tendulkar, dressed in a navy blue Team India T shirt and jeans, was present along with his wife, Anjali. (Read: Humbled at gesture to rename cricket facility after me, says Sachin Tendulkar)
A number of high-profile guests, including MCA president Sharad Pawar are present. The proceedings started late due to late arrival of the VIPs. Apart from the players, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray are also present. The MCA is also planning to gift Tendulkar a painting by Nashik-based artist Prafull Sawant. Here are the highlights from the felicitation ceremony:
* MCA vice-president Ravi Sawant gives the vote of thanks as the ceremony heads to a close.
* Sachin Tendulkar: "I have to thank MCA for making facilities available to me at any hour. To retain sporting culture among the youth is very important. I hope all sports persons in India bring smiles to our faces. I appreciate not just this evening, but the last 24 years."
* Sachin Tendulkar: "Practicing during monsoons was very tough, I used to practice in the rain with my friends. Whenever I wanted to practice, MCA made pitches available for me."
* Sachin Tendulkar: "Mr Pawar mentioned that this ground (Kandivili ground, now renamed Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana) is free for anyone to come and play."
* Sachin Tendulkar: "My association with Mumbai cricket started nearly 30 years ago. It has been a fantastic journey."
* Sachin Tendulkar: "Felt different to read my name at the top of the club, not used to it. It is a very humbling experience."
* After being presented a bouquet, Sachin Tendulkar addresses the gathering, saying in Marathi, "Since West Indies team is here, I'll speak in English."
* Prithviraj Chavan: "We all rejoice at his success, stability, his hardwork, his discipline."
* Prithviraj Chavan: "Sachin has won the hearts of millions of ordinary Indians for over 24 years."
* Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan now addresses the gathering.
* Sharad Pawar: "Sachin is a perfect ambassador for the game of cricket in India, he is a perfect role model. We will all miss the "Sachin, Sachin" chants when he walks out to bat."
* Sharad Pawar: "Sachin is a product of the Mumbai Cricket Association. Mumbai holds a unique place in Indian cricket, having won the Ranji Trophy on 40 occasions."
* Sharad Pawar is addressing the gathering now, talking about how MCA has produced one of the best Indian cricketers.
* Playback singer Shaan sings 'Tum saath ho jab apne' from the bollywood movie Kaalia.
* Actress Isha Sharvani's dance performance is the first act of the evening.
* The MCA is reportedly showing restraint with the celebrations as Sachin wants to mentally prepare for the Mumbai Test.
* Sachin Tendulkar's ODI and Test records will be printed on the ticket for his 200th Test.