sports

CHANDIGARH: A palatial house nestled on a leafy boulevard of the French architect Corbusier-designed Chandigarh, away from the din of Mumbai became the birthday address of the cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar celebrating his 39th birthday, the first after the living legend reached the milestone a century of centuries this year.

The batsman, treated like a God in the country, arrived in a Honda Accord from the team hotel along with his wife Anjali, attracting the gaze of collected guests and leaving most of them gasping in awe.

Clad in an olive green round neck T-shirt with floral motifs, Tendulkar walked amid a rousing applause, turning the house already loud with club music into a stillness of frenzy.

Tendulkar, who is in Chandigarh along with Team Mumbai to play their league match against the home Team Punjab, turns 39 on Tuesday.

While most of team members including Dinesh Karthik, James Franklin, Pragyan Ojha and Keiron Pollard sat quietly gathered around a table, the master batsman remained mobbed by the guests and the hosts at the party, signing autographs on bats to T-shirts, palms and wrists and even tissues.

For hours, the batsman also posed with local administrators and politicians gathered at the party.

Bollywood actor Rahul Dev and former Indian cricketer Atul Wassan added a dash of stardom to the party.

Later, a giant LCD screen playing the live match between Team Rajasthan and Team Bangalore had the guests discussing the fine points of cricket with Tendulkar.

Sources in the party said that a surprise special vanilla cake, a favourite with Tendulkar, had also been kept by the hosts.

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