CCI honours Tendulkar at 75th anniversary celebrations

Sachin Tendulkar

The Cricket Club of India, which changed its rules in the 1980s to let a then 14-year-old Sachin Tendulkar use its dressing room, honoured the senior batsman as part of its 75th anniversary celebrations at the Brabourne Stadium here.

The 39-year-old became nostalgic at a function here last evening as he recollected his memories of the facility that shaped his formative years in the game.

"It is a special occasion. Whenever I come to CCI, I feel special. Thank you for the love and affection, it really means a lot to me. I remember my association with CCI started, whenI was playing school cricket. I played Harris Shield finals here. I was playing cricket at Shivaji Park," Tendulkar said at the ceremony here.

CCI changed its rules to allow the then 14-year-old cricketer to use its dressing room when he featured in local tournaments in the late 1980s.

"I happened to play against CCI, against (Madhav) Apte, and even Raj bhai (Raj Singh Dungarpur) was there and I got some runs against CCI. I was maybe 13 or 14. That is when the decision was taken to have me play at CCI. But under-18 were not allowed in dressing room and I was only 13 or 14," he recalled.

"Thanks to Raj bhai and Apte for allowing me to be in the dressing room. From there on things started looking a bit different for me in cricket. I remember when we played Australia here and then Mumbai and we won convincingly, a fantastic moment for a Mumbaikar.

"The best moment was when we played IPL, just the energy of this ground, it is so positive. I thoroughly enjoyed that season. I have come across so many guys who have got not much to do with cricket but just to feel the club and feel the ambiance," he added.

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