Sachin Tendulkar said he felt "very humbled" after the Mumbai Cricket Association on Monday formally renamed the Kandivili ground as the Sachin Tendulkar Gymkhana Club. The 40-year-old who will be playing his 200th and last Test match in Mumbai from November 14 already has a stand named after him at the famous Wankhede Stadium. (All the highlights from the MCA felicitation)
In a high-profile ceremony attended by MCA president Sharad Pawar and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, Tendulkar, dressed in Team India's navy blue T shirt and jeans, was the cynosure of all eyes even as players from both the Indian and the West Indian teams attended the ceremony. Tendulkar thanked the media and officials for making his farewell a "splendid one." (Read: If I were Sachin, would have retired a year ago, says Sourav Ganguly to NDTV)
On having a cricket facility named after him, Tendulkar said: "When I walked in, it felt different. I am not used to this and feel very humbled." Tendulkar added the facility at Kandivili, which will be free of cost, will go a long way in helping budding cricketers hone their talent. (Read: Sachin Tendulkar's 200th Test: Chaos as ticket website KyaZoonga crashes)
"This is great platform for the next generation. They must utilize this to bring smiles on our faces. To retain the sporting culture among youth is very important," Tendulkar said thanking the MCA for standing by him throughout his career. "I have been associated with them for 29 years, starting as an under-15 cricketer. Every time I wanted to be at the nets, MCA was always ready. They helped me reach my dream of playing Test cricket and for every tour, there was different preparation." (Read: Sachin Tendulkar is to cricket what Michael Jordan is to basketball, says Brian Lara)
"Thank you very much for all the love, respect and care you have given me. To play for India has been memorable," said Tendulkar, who thanked his teammates for making his final moments in international cricket very special.
Pawar and Chavan paid their tribute to Tendulkar, who was accompanied by his wife Anjali. Apart from flower bouquets, Tendulkar was gifted a painting. Chavan said: "Cricket will miss Tendulkar, who has been a perfect role model for all." Pawar said: "Sachin has been a great role model for cricket and even for the country. He has made us proud with his immense achievements."