Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Wednesday unveiled a grand and gleaming bronze statue of Sachin Tendulkar at the Wankhede Stadium here.
Present on the occasion were Sachin Tendulkar and his entire family, Sports Minister Sanjay Bansode, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar, BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla, BCCI Secretary Jai Shah, Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) President Amol Kale, Secreatry Ajinkya Naik and other BCCI and MCA office-bearers.
Commissioned by MCA, the statue depicting the cricket icon in his trademark ‘lofted drive’ pose is the first-ever erected for any legend at the 49-year-old Wankhede Stadium, and is placed prominently at the Sachin Tendulkar Stand.
It has been created by Ahmednagar-based sculptor Pramod Kamble, who said the larger-than-life size statue stands 14 feet tall.
It now adorns the stadium high above, at a strategic location visible from all sides, just ahead of some of the ICC ODI World Cup matches scheduled here this week.
First announced in February and planned around June-July, the statue is billed as the MCA’s tribute to the 50th birthday (April 24) of Tendulkar, being celebrated by his fans and cricket lovers world over this year.
The selected pose, after scouring thousands of action images of Tendulkar, finally zeroed down to the memorable sixer shot in a lofted drive pose, with his left leg extended, body slightly bent, head high and the bat pointing at the sky, and had the personal approval of the cricketing giant.
Tendulkar, a resident of Bandra, not only played some of his best matches and set or broke many records at the Wankhede Stadium, it was also the venue for his swansong Test 10 years ago – in November 2013 – before he retired.
Conferred the Bharat Ratna in 2014, Tendulkar is a veteran of 15,921 runs in 200 Tests, besides amassing 18,426 runs in ODIs.