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Monday, October 24, 2011

Sachin missed ODI in Mumbai for the first time

Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, in his long and illustrious international career spanning over two decades, has never missed a match at the Wankhede Stadium, his home turf.

However, yesterday, for the first time, Mumbai fans  witnessed a cricket match involving India where Tendulkar will not figure. He pulled out of the ongoing England series with a toe injury and has missed international matches quite a few times but never ever in Mumbai. If Tendulkar would have been fit, this would have been his 12th ODI at Wankhede.

Tendulkar, who started his international career in 1989, played his first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium in 1994 against the West Indies and the World Cup final this year was his 11th match at the venue.

“Sachin is the local lad and people have always loved to see him play here. Especially in Mumbai, people will do anything to see him play. It would have been simply exceptional had he been there. The atmosphere is completely different when he walks down to the middle. And, so yes, there is no question; he will definitely be missed,” said former India stumper Chandrakant Pandit.

In the 11 innings at Wankhede, Tendulkar has amassed 455 runs at a strike rate of 86.99 and includes a century (114) against South Africa way back in 1996.

With the series already wrapped up and Tendulkar out of action, ticket sales at the venue has also been slow unlike the mad rush that one witnesses ahead of any international match.

“Sachin is the local hero. There is no doubt that people would have certainly loved to see him play. He has always been the crowd puller and I think Sachin too would have loved to play out here. I can’t remember when he last missed a match here so don’t know if his absence would refrain the crowd from pouring in,” said former India player Lalchand Rajput.

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