From the sidelines of T20 league, story of a 20-year-old picture with Sachin Tendulkar

SPTendulkar and Kaul in Mumbai

For well over two decades, enthusiastic parents have attempted to thrust their children into the same photo frame as Sachin Tendulkar, hoping to collect a memory for life. Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul grew up clutching one such memory. Twenty years on, the memory came to life and left Kaul no less starstruck.

Tendulkar met his unusual fan in his hotel room Tuesday afternoon. He had seen him once at the Indian team nets during which the boy Kaul's precious piece of black-and-white memory was clicked but neither cricketer could have known then that they would one day be part of competing teams in the same tournament.

Kaul wasn't in the Delhi Daredevils eleven that took the field against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday, but just having his name in the squad was the young man's wildest dream come true.

In March 1993, Mohammed Azharuddin's India were playing England in an ODI in Gwalior. Tendulkar, then 20, was already a household name, and Kaul's father Tej Kaul then a trainer with the Indian team took his three-year-old son to India's nets and got him to sit next to the young star for a picture.

On Tuesday, Tendulkar took one look at the old picture and announced, "I know Tej and this photo is of 1993, maybe during the England series. Because I remember the logo in that picture!"

Kaul said he remembered sitting next to Tendulkar, and that someone had given his father the picture later. "As soon as I started playing cricket at the age of 6, I knew who Tendulkar was... Now he is God. You will find his photographs everywhere, in my bedroom, kitbag, wallet."

Kaul, who was the second highest wicket taker this Ranji season, was in the India U-19 team that won the junior World Cup in 2008 under Virat Kohli's captaincy. Last week, he was named in the 30 probables for the Champions Trophy in England.

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