April 30, 2010

Indian cricket

A mango named after Tendulkar

Nitin Sundar

This is another juicy bit of trivia for fans of Sachin Tendulkar who keep track of the various tributes coming his way. An Indian farmer has named a new hybrid variety of mango after the star batsman, in honour of his cricketing achievements. "There is no player like Sachin Tendulkar in the whole world and that's why I have named this mango Sachin," said Kalimullah Khan, the elderly farmer from the state of Uttar Pradesh, who is responsible for the new variety and its innovative name.

Mangoes are very popular in India, which is the largest producer of the fruit in the world. Sachin is a combination of two of the finest Indian varieties of the creamy sweet-tasting fruit. However, it will not be up for sale. "Our Sachin is a world hero and he is priceless and not a saleable commodity," said Khan, who plans to donate a tree of Sachin mangoes to the cricketer "so he can enjoy them with his friends."

Khan has produced nearly 300 new mango varieties and won India's top civilian award for his work on mango grafting and cultivation. He is currently working on a new hybrid to be named after the legendary Bollywood singer Lata Mangeshkar.

Tendulkar who turned 37 earlier this month, continues to go strong at an age when most cricketers call it quits. He recently scored the first double hundred in ODI history, and followed that up with a stellar performance in the IPL, where he emerged the top run-getter, in a format expected to favour youngsters. The mango tribute is unlikely to be the last of his fruitful career.

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Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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