April 6, 2010

Sachin's ultimate fan

Akhila Ranganna

It was a dream come true for 87-year old Saraswathi Vaidyanathan. Just a few days ago The Hindu carried a story about her passion for cricket and admiration for Sachin Tendulkar – from referring to him as a chota baccha (small boy) to painstakingly updating all his statistics, written down on scraps of paper. She’d never met him, though, and on Monday that wish was fulfilled in Chennai.

It was an emotional few moments at the team hotel - Tendulkar touched Vaidyanathan's feet and sought her blessings as she called him her “fourth grandson” and handed him a small idol of the Hindu god Ganesh. In return, he signed a bat with several other famous names on it. “I am lucky to meet you,” she said, but Tendulkar corrected her: “No, I am lucky to meet you.” Vaidyanthan then expressed her wish – to see him score 100 international centuries. Tendulkar, seven short of the landmark, smiled in agreement. Her parting words: “You are short in stature but very big in deeds.”

Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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