Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar says he is savouring the opportunity to pair up with West Indies great Brian Lara in a match at Lord’s next month, echoing the sentiments of fans around the world.
Tendulkar will lead an MCC (Marylebone Cricket Club) team that will include Lara as well as Rahul Dravid, Brett Lee, Paul Collingwood and Saeed Ajmal, among others, against a Rest of the World XI in an exhibition match marking the 200th anniversary of the Lord’s cricket ground in London on 5 July.
Perhaps most appetisingly for fans, Tendulkar and Lara – widely considered the two finest batsmen of the modern era – will be pitted against the Rest of the World’s Shane Warne and Muttiah Muralitharen, the two greatest spin bowlers in the history of the game.
The Rest of the World team also features England outcast Kevin Pietersen, former Australia wicket keeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist and explosive Indian batsman Virender Sehwag.
Tendulkar says a potential partnership with Lara is an exciting prospect and recalled the last time they were on the same side, at another charity match in Toronto in 1994.
“We played for the same team and we had a wonderful partnership. So I’m hoping for another one this time”, Tendulkar told reporters during a promotional visit to Singapore on Tuesday.
Tendulkar, 41, also weighed in on the on-going match-fixing investigations by the International Cricket Council, saying rooting out corruption was “critical” for the same.
“I think the concerned people are taking really important steps because it is critical for the game to make sure that the spectators watch a fair competition,” Tendulkar said.
The ICC launched a large-scale investigation after former New Zealand cricketer Lou Vincent revealed attempts by illegal bookmakers to fix matches in international and domestic cricket tournaments, including the Bangladesh Premier League and England’s Twenty20 Cup.