Ballboy in 1987, now highest run-getter in World Cups

Updated: 10 March 2011 14:08 IST

Wednesday was a memorable day for Sachin Tendulkar since he became the first player to score 2000-plus runs in World Cup cricket. So will October 17, 1987 be in a World Cup context. For, it was on this day that he watched his first World Cup match in a stadium. Tendulkar, then 14, was chosen as a ball boy for the India versus Zimbabwe game at the Wankhede Stadium.

Pune:

Wednesday was a memorable day for Sachin Tendulkar since he became the first player to score 2000-plus runs in World Cup cricket. So will October 17, 1987 be in a World Cup context. For, it was on this day that he watched his first World Cup match in a stadium. Tendulkar, then 14, was chosen as a ball boy for the India versus Zimbabwe game at the Wankhede Stadium.

According to Prakash Kelkar, a member of Mumbai's cricketing fraternity, only under-16 boys 'qualified' for ball boy duty, but he was keen on getting Tendulkar and his chum Vinod Kambli to man the boundary line.

"I was keen on getting Sachin and Vinod to come as ball boys for the match because of their exploits in inter-school cricket. I went to Ramakant Achrekar Sir for permission, and he willingly made them available," said Kelkar, who was then in charge of John Bright Cricket Club.

"Sachin was thrilled when he entered the stadium. I still remember his expression. It was as if he had been given everything in life," said Kelkar, who was in charge of the ball boys then.

"I asked Sachin which boundary he wanted to guard, and he opted for the North Stand. He was keen to see Manoj Prabhakar bowl," recalled Kelkar. Tendulkar must have gone home delighted because Prabhakar ended up being man of the match with figures of 4 for 19 as India beat Zimbabwe by eight wickets. Tendulkar went on to represent India in the very next World Cup - Australia and New Zealand in 1991-92.

"Vinod was not too keen to go to North Stand," continued Kelkar. "He felt they would not get food and water there at the far end. He also urged Sachin to be in a place where food and water was easily available, but Sachin was adamant on his position. Instead, he promised Vinod that he would get food and water. The two had a great time thereafter."

Tendulkar recalled his ball boy experience in the recently published book, SACH by Gautam Bhattacharya. "I was standing right there in front of the Indian dressing room. Then Mr Gavaskar invited me inside. I was introduced to all the players. I was too much in awe. But what a feeling it was," Tendulkar was quoted as saying in the book.

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Topics : World Cup 2011 Cricket Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar
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