Iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday became the first overseas player to be presented with the honorary life membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground here.
Presenting the award, New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell said, "Sachin is one of the greatest cricketers ever and it's only appropriate we honour him with life membership of one of the world's greatest cricket grounds.
Praising Tendulkar for his sportsmanship and deference for the history of the game, O'Farrell remarked, "The batting legend has said the SCG is his favourite ground outside of India and it's no wonder when you look at his record at this ground."
"Sachin has provided crowds with wonderful memories at the SCG. He averages an amazing 157 in Tests; headed by his magnificent double century in 2004 Test. Always a crowd favourite, Sachin has often received support akin to Australian legends of the game.
"Many in the crowd today will be willing him towards his much-vaunted 100th hundred. Regardless of how many runs today, I'm certain the Sydney crowd will pay appropriate tribute to this legend of the game in which is almost certain to be his last match at the SCG," he added.
SCG Trust chairman Rodney Cavalier said the honorary membership was in recognition of Tendulkar's immense contribution to cricket at the SCG.
"The Trust does not award honorary membership lightly. Sachin is the first overseas player in any sport and only the second cricketer to be handed the honour," said Cavalier.
"Cricket fans have been treated to many splendid innings by Sachin at the SCG, including his innings of 241 in 2004 where he shared a magnificent stand of 353 with VVS Laxman.
"Sachin has conducted himself with grace and dignity throughout his career. I'm sure all members and cricket fans would welcome him back to the SCG at any time."
At this ground, Tendulkar has scored 785 runs from five Tests at an average of 157.00 while in one-day internationals, he has made 301 from seven matches at 60.20. (Before Sunday's match against Australia)