Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar had a storied rivalry with Australia speedster Brett Lee. However, Tendulkar had already become a modern-day legend long before Lee played his first international match and therefor became an idol to millions including budding cricketers of that era.
Lee recounted his first encounter with Tendulkar in 1999 when he was representing Prime Minister’s XI against a touring Indian side in Canberra. Tendulkar was part of that game and the Australian youngster thought he will approach the India superstar after the game and try to get his autograph, a plan he eventually shelved.
“The first time I met Sachin Tendulkar was way back in 1999,” Lee said on his YouTube channel. “We were in Canberra and I was playing for the Prime Minister’s XI against the touring Indian team. And of course, Sachin Tendulkar was in that game. He came out to bat and I realised I am bowling to the great Sachin Tendulkar.”
He added, “I actually wanted to get his autograph – I thought I’ll give him the ball and say ‘Hey mate, could you please sign this?’ But then realised it wouldn’t look good for my first impression against the great Tendulkar.”
As it turned out, Lee would dismiss Tendulkar in that game. And the legendary pace would go on to dismiss his great rival 14 times in international cricket – the most by any bowler at that level.
“Me as a young kid growing up watching him and here I am with the ball in hand thinking how am I going to get this guy out. I managed to nick him off. We shook hands at the end of the game and I was in absolute awe of this wonderful man,” Lee said.
Tendulkar retired as the most prolific run-getter in the history of international cricket including a record 100 centuries.