Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar was reportedly approached by the Big Bash League (BBL) franchise Sydney Thunder to feature in this year's edition of the Twenty20 tournament Down Under. A deal however could not be reached with the Master Blaster.
According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald, the now-retired legend was offered an 'attractive' package from the Thunder who are desperately seeking a turnaround in their fortunes - one win in their last 19 matches, stretching 25 months. Tendulkar could have added star-power to the team which is currently led by veteran Mike Hussey and also boasts the talents of Ashes-winning Australia skipper Michael Clarke. The Indian veteran who retired from all forms of cricket in November last year had a healthy strike-rate of 119 from 78 matches in his six-year Indian Premier League career and would have bolstered the Thunders' faltering batting line-up. (Also read: Sachin Tendulkar 'most admired' in the world)
Such was the desperation that Cricket New South Wales even requested the state government to use its contacts in India, to seal a deal with Tendulkar. The plans though were stalled when Harry Harinath resigned from his post as head of Cricket NSW.
No Indian currently plays in Big Bash but Sydney Thunders' team does consist of some prominent Asian figures including Sri Lanka's Tillakaratne Dilshan and Ajantha Mendis. The side though has still not managed to make a mark in the current edition of the tournament despite the presence of local heroes like David Warner, Hussey and Clarke. The team has failed to go beyond the first round in the previous two years as well.
In a massive contrast, Tendulkar has featured for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and was instrumental in taking his team to triumph in the 2013 edition of the tournament. He was also part of the side when it won the Champions Trophy. While most of his ODI and Test records are far from being bettered, his talents in IPL - one century and 13 fifties - could have rescued the Thunders had he been officially approached and he had accepted.