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SCG unveils Lara-Tendulkar Gates to mark Sachin's 50th birthday

By Real11 - Apr 24 2023 333 Views
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Sachin’s 50th birthday marked by Lara-Tendulkar Gates

Sachin Tendulkar has been immortalised at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), his favourite hunting ground away from home, to mark his 50th birthday, which is being celebrated all around the globe. He becomes the first non Australian cricketer alongside Brian Lara to be memorialised with a set of gates, used to enter the field of play, at the historic venue. The top run getter of all time and his fellow legendary batter, who’ve shared a special bond since they dominated the cricket world in the early 1990s, will now share the Gates named in their honour. 

They are positioned between the Noble Bradman Messenger Stand and the Member’s Pavilion away dressing room. Pakistan Men’s cricket team are probably the first visitors to walk through the Lara Tendulkar Gates next year during the annual New Year’s Test in Sydney.   

The Australian Cricket Team has traditionally used the Don Bradman Gates situated between the Members and Ladies Pavilions to enter the field. Former Australian icons Arthur Morris and Alan Davidson are the other two to have gates named after them at the SCG. 

It is reported that the decision to honour Tendulkar and Lara has been in progress since the summer of 19-20, the last time the two former skippers were on Australian soil together. But, with Tendulkar’s landmark birthday impending, it was decided that April 24, Monday will be perfect to unveil the Tendulkar-Lara Gates. The unveiling will be performed under the guidance of SCG and Venues New South Wales Chairman Rod McGeoch AO and CEO Kerrie Mather, along with Nick Hockley, Cricket Australia CEO. 

This will be the first instance that Tendulkar, who has a stand after him at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, will have his name engraved on stone at a popular venue overseas. It’s only relevant though that it should be at the SCG, where the maestro had few of his best moments in red ball cricket. The champion batter averaged a startling 157 across five Tests in Sydney, piling three tons starting with an unbeaten 148 in 1991. It is during that knock that Tendulkar went from an upcoming talent to the next big thing or Greg Chappell described it poignantly in the commentary box “we are seeing the emergence of one of the shining stars of world cricket." The number 10 also registered his highest test score against the mighty Australia at this venue, his gigantic knock of 241 in 2007 was also Steve Waugh’s farewell test. 

Brian Lara, who has a stadium named after him in his hometown of Trinidad, also enjoyed a successful stint at the SCG. His sensational 277 came at this ground. Lara’s epic ironically came precisely a year after Tendulkkar’s arrival as a phenomenon on these shores. The two batters between them tallied 1168 Test runs at a combined average of 97.41 at the SCG. The Lara-Tendulkar Gates has a plaque which mentions the duo’s incredible records at the iconic venue. 

"The Sydney Cricket Ground has been my favourite ground away from India. I have had some great memories at the SCG right from my first tour of Australia in 1991-92. It is a great honour to have the gates used by all visiting cricketers to access the field of play at the SCG named after me and my good friend Brian," Tendulkar said.

"I would like to thank the team at the SCG and Cricket Australia for this kind gesture. I look forward to visiting the SCG soon," he added.

"I am deeply honoured to be recognised at the Sydney Cricket Ground, as I'm sure Sachin is. The ground holds many special memories for me, and my family and I always enjoy visiting whenever I am in Australia," said Lara, who named his first-born Sydney following his unforgettable double-century here.

According to CEO Mather, "Sachin Tendulkar's record at the SCG is simply remarkable, while Brian Lara's maiden Test century remains one of the most celebrated innings by a visiting player." CA CEO Hockley, meanwhile, also acknowledged the significance for visiting teams walking through the Lara-Tendulkar Gates to enter "the hallowed turf at the SCG".

"Their feats will no doubt be an inspiration to not only visiting international teams, but all players fortunate enough to walk onto the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground," he said.

Apart from all the runs he scored at his "favourite cricket ground outside of my homeland", Tendulkar and the SCG shared a bond over the two decades. And  the "Sachin, Sachin" chants reverberated around the SCG just as loudly as they did in stadiums around India  

"There's certain grounds where you go out and feel that you can do well, and the SCG is one of those grounds where I feel comfortable," Tendulkar had said before his final Test at the venue in 2012.

And now for the new generation of batters, touring overseas will potentially feel like they can “do well” too here, particularly since they’ll get to walk out to bat through the Gates named after two men who once ruled SCG.   

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