West Indies, Brian Lara throw their own party for Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar Brian LaraBrian Lara presented Sachin Tendulkar with a quintessentially Trinidadian present - a miniature steel-pan (PTI)

With inept performances and damaging innings defeats, the West Indians might have ensured that Sachin Tendulkar didn't spend more than five days in the field put together in his final two Tests. But they didn't let him go without paying the retiring superstar their own little tribute.

Moments after he had left the field and walked up the dressing-room steps for the last time, wiping away tears, Tendulkar was ushered into the small reception area below the pavilion. Waiting for him there was the entire West Indian team. And emceeing the send-off ceremony was an old friend.

Joining Brian Lara and Tendulkar at the head of the room were veterans Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle. The former West Indian captain began proceedings by presenting Chanderpaul with a plaque for becoming the first man from the Islands to play 150 Tests.

Lara then spoke about the extensive contribution that Tendulkar has made to cricket and the how the entire Caribbean has loved watching him bat, except when against their team, even if it meant waking up at odd hours.

"He spoke about how Sachin has been a great ambassador of the game and a greater human being. And how it was always a privilege playing against him," said a team official present at the event.

Lara, whose record for most Test runs Tendulkar had broken, then presented him with a quintessentially Trinidadian present a miniature steel-pan or steel drum native to the island. It was a way of saying thanks for all the entertainment from the entire Caribbean and especially from the people of Trinidad & Tobago.

Tendulkar then hugged Lara and took centre-stage. "It was always a pleasure playing in the Caribbean. I simply loved the atmosphere there. And one of my regrets is that I couldn't play much there (he played in 10 Tests but missed India's last two series there) because of injuries," Tendulkar said before sharing a joke with Gayle and posing for pictures with many of the West Indians.

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