Honour for Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar will be honoured by Cricket South Africa (CSA) during India's tour to the country that gets under way next month.

skysport.co.nz, Friday, 26 November 2010 8:38 a.m.

Photo: Getty

Sachin Tendulkar will be honoured by Cricket South Africa (CSA) during India's tour to the country that gets under way next month.

The batting icon, widely regarded as one of the greatest players to ever play the game, is to be celebrated for his role in the sport during the only Twenty20 international on the trip - a match that is set to draw the biggest ever crowd to a cricket match on African soil.

The fixture on January 9 is scheduled to be held at the 69,000-seater Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, one of the venues used for the football World Cup earlier this year.

It is a game that has been specially arranged to coincide with the 150-year anniversary of the first arrival of Indians in South Africa and will also mark the farewell appearance on the international stage of Makhaya Ntini.

"This match will be a singular commemoration of the close relationship between South Africa and India in cricket, cultural and commercial links going back over decades," CSA chief executive officer Gerald Majola said.

"CSA will include a special tribute at this match to Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar for his ongoing and outstanding contribution to advancement of cricket world-wide.

"Sachin is the only remaining playing member of the Indian team that played the first match against South Africa after our unity, the first team to tour South Africa and now he is here again to celebrate with us this historic match at Mabhida Stadium.

"Makhaya and Sachin represent all that is best in this great game of cricket, and we are honoured to bring this tribute to both of them at this anniversary of the roots that bind South Africa and India."

CSA also plans to honour the first team to tour post-apartheid, which visited India in 1991.

Majola added: "When Clive Rice's team landed by chartered aircraft at Dum Dum Airport in the-then Calcutta, thousands of Indians were there to greet them with garlands of flowers.

"The route to Calcutta was lined by tens of thousands of Indians, cheering and throwing flowers at the team cavalcade.

"When the first ODI took place a few days later at the famous Eden Gardens, the 100 000-seater was packed to the rafters.

"This was a signal from India to the world that a new South Africa had been born and should be welcomed by all."