(Mail Today) — Adam Gilchrist has one vivid memory of a Sachin Tendulkar birthday, and it is not a happy one for the Australian great.
Fourteen years ago, at the height of his powers, Tendulkar took apart the famed Aussie bowling attack over one glorious summer in India and the United Arab Emirates, culminating in the legendary 'Desert Storm' in Sharjah on his 25th birthday.
When reminded that Tuesday was the master batsman's birthday, Gilchrist's memory did not fail him. "The mention of Tendulkar's birthday always sends a chill down my spine. I remember one of his birthdays when he smashed us all around the park in Sharjah,” he said.
"Going by past experience, I am glad that we are playing tomorrow and not on his birthday,” the Kings XI Punjab captain said, before asking cheekily: "How old is he today, by the way?” When told that he turned 39, the 40-year-old said: "I still have the wood over him as far as age is concerned.”
Meanwhile, Tendulkar celebrated his big day with his Mumbai Indians teammates. A cake, made in the shape of Mohali's PCA Stadium with Sachin batting in the middle, was made specifically for the occasion. The cake also mentioned the milestone of 100 international tons that he reached recently.
"We have a tradition of cutting a small cake on the birthday of any of our players,” Mumbai Indians' mentor Shaun Pollock said. "We also make it a point to paint everyone's faces with the cake.”
Mumbai Indians skipper Harbhajan Singh also joined in to wish the legend. However, the cake-cutting ceremony was a totally in-house event with no media allowed.
Pollock was also hopeful that the extra motivation of Tendulkar's birthday will work to the benefit of his team. "He would be keen to get some runs,” the South African said.
A lot of fans assembled at the PCA Stadium to wish the star.
They had to wait a long time before Tendulkar came out after the team's practice session, and though he chose just to wave at the fans and media personnel, that was enough for the diehard supporters.
BATTING maestro Sachin Tendulkar, on his 39th birthday on Tuesday, released a book commemorating his 100th international century titled Sachin — A Tribute To The Legend in Mohali.
The book, published by The Hindu group, was conceptualised after Tendulkar scored his 100th century in the Asia Cup against Bangladesh in Mirpur on March 16. Tendulkar, flanked by Mumbai Indians coach Robin Singh and captain Harbhajan Singh, expressed his gratitude after releasing the book.