Sachin Tendulkar’s retirement from international cricket is not preoccupying Indians alone.
Even the visiting West Indian cricketers are thinking about giving a “fitting tribute” to the legend when he retires after the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
“We all have thought about giving a fitting tribute to Tendulkar after his last Test at the Wankhede. We don’t want to reveal our plans now but we can say it will be a big surprise,” said former West Indies batsman Richie Richardson, who is currently accompanying the team as operations manager.
Richardson, along with the head coach Ottis Gibson, led the visitors to their first practice session on Tuesday at the Videocon School of Cricket, run by former India captain Sourav Ganguly.
“We want to express our gratitude for being invited to play a marquee Test series against India. The entire Caribbean team is elated to play Sachin Tendulkar’s farewell series,” said Richardson, turning the true ambassador for the visitors.
“Having said that, we want to make it clear that we are here with a mission to win the series. We will not give him (Tendulkar) an inch and he will have to earn every run.”
West Indies had almost two hours of practice at the venue ahead of its three-day warm up match against the Uttar Pradesh Ranji team.
Asked to compare Tendulkar with Brian Lara, Richardson balanced his statement saying: “We don’t want to compare the two. Both are great players.”
Talking about Tendulkar’s fan following in the West Indies, he said: “People back in the Caribbean worship Sunil Gavaskar for his fearless cricket. “He has always been on top of people’s minds. But despite Gavaskar’s greatness, Tendulkar has been able to create a place for himself. That’s a big achievement.”