Kolkata: Saluting the genius of Sachin Tendulkar, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) on Wednesday came out with a souvenir in the form of a booklet, capturing rare moments from the legend's life in photographs and memoirs.
The booklet was presented to the legendary batsman before he took to the field for his 199th and penultimate Test match at the Eden Gardens. The first page of the booklet has a sketch of a young Tendulkar with curly hair by renowned artist Jogen Chowdhury.
Some rare photographs of Tendulkar include those from his younger days, one after he got married to wife Anjali. Another photograph captures him spending some private moments with his family members. Other snaps include him sleeping inside a dressing room and chilling out with teammates, besides scoring runs, practicing with the bat or playing with a ball.
One of the photos shows him playing chess with West Indies batting legend Sir Vivian Richards.
"Today the time has come for us to bid farewell to the living legend, in his last match at Eden. However, this is not a parting, because I am sure that Sachin will never be far away from cricket action," CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya wrote in the booklet.
Pakistani cricketing legend Imran Khan recalled how he saw early signs of promise in a 16-year-old player when Tendulkar made his Test debut against his team in 1989.
"Fortunately for India, Sachin's passion was what set him apart from the rest. When one is passionate about one's game, hard work becomes fun, and those long hours at the nets seem interesting and challenging, rather than routine and monotonous," Imran wrote in the memoir.
Sir Vivian Richards said Tendulkar was a true ambassador of the game.
"Sachin Tendulkar is the one modern cricketer I would pay to watch. He is exceptional for his talent, achievement, longevity, enthusiasm, humility, and generosity and above all, is a true ambassador of our sport," he wrote.
Former Australian captain Steve Waugh, who has played a number of games against Tendulkar, described him as the "Bradman of our times".
"It was a captain's nightmare to set a field when he was in full flow. It was akin to getting stuck in a tornado ? the noise from the crowds made it impossible to communicate with the fielders, the bowlers looked demoralised, and you could sense that Tendulkar himself was delighted at the disarray he created in the opposition," he said.
Recalling the 2003 World Cup, another Australian cricketer Glenn McGrath said if one dismissed Sachin early in those days, the team would win more often than not.
"The team depended on him, the spectators came to see him, and when he got out cheap, the disappointment was palpable. We would see spectators leave the stadium once Sachin got out, such was his charisma at the peak of his career," recalled McGrath.
Former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya said one of his best shots of Tendulkar was the lofted straight drive.
"I have not seen anyone time is as well as Sachin does. I also love the way he plays the straight bat, passing through the bowler," he mentioned.
For his fans, the booklet also has trivia on Tendulkar.