A couple of days before Christmas, Sachin Tendulkar played Santa for Sudhir Kumar Gautam — a regular at international cricket matches.
He claimed that the Master Blaster promised to sponsor his presence in any India match across the globe for the rest of his life. “On the eve of announcing his retirement from One-Day Internationals (ODIs), Sachin gave me the assurance,” Sudhir said.
Hailing from Muzaffarpur, this fan of Sachin has his body dyed in saffron, white and green and has “Tendulkar 10” painted on his chest and back. He said: “Tendulkar’s name will never be removed from my chest. However, on top of the name, there will be a ‘Miss You’.”
Sudhir (32) said: “The Master Blaster will keep supporting me for the rest of my life. I too would keep cheering the Indian team till I am alive.”
A day before Sachin quit ODIs, Sudhir had breakfast at the cricketer’s Carter Road house in Mumbai on December 22. “I had cornflakes and fruits. I was there for almost half-an-hour but he did not utter a word on his retirement,” he said.
He added: “On the dining table itself, Sachin arranged my pass for the India-Pakistan Twenty20 matches in Bangalore and Ahmedabad. When I was travelling to Bangalore by Udyan Express, I learnt about his retirement from ODIs.”