NEW DELHI: After overcoming a string of injuries and surgery, Sachin Tendulkar heads into his fifth cricket World Cup desperate to fulfil one of the rare career ambitions that has eluded him.
In his international career, which started when he became India's youngest Test cricketer at the age of 16 years and 205 days in 1989, Tendulkar has accomplished more than what most cricketers ever dream of.
Tendulkar's 14,783 runs are the most compiled by any batsman in the history of limited-overs internationals and his 41 one-day centuries are also the most in the World.
Twice during the past three World Cups, he has emerged as the outstanding player of the tournament.
But he has never been able to celebrate with the title.
Tendulkar, who will turn 34 during the World Cup, wants to bring back the premier limited-overs trophy for the millions of his adoring fans.
India had won the World Cup in 1983 in an upset win over West Indies and came within a match of doing it again in 2003, only to be crushed in the final by Australia.
Tendulkar was the leading scorer in the World Cup in South Africa, but his failure to make a big score in the final saw India's challenge fade and his Player of the Tournament Award proved to be a small consolation.
In 1996, when India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka co-hosted the tournament, Tendulkar earned his first Player of the Tournament Award.
But India frittered away a winning chance in the semifinal against Sri Lanka which went on to clinch the title.
India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka have each won the World Cup once, and all are hoping to be the reigning champion when the next edition is again jointly staged in the sub-continent in 2011. AP