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Top form, team successes and that century might elude Sachin Tendulkar on his trip down under, but seldom does the celebrated batsman complete a tour without being, well, celebrated. On Sunday, Tendulkar was conferred honorary life membership at the Sydney Cricket Ground, ahead of India's one-dayer against Australia at the venue. Alongside the membership, Tendulkar was presented with a bust of Sir Donald Bradman.
Tendulkar is only the second cricketer, after Steve Waugh in 2003, to be extended the honour, and the first overseas sportsman. "Cricket fans have been treated to many splendid innings by Sachin at the SCG, including his innings of 241 in 2004 where he shared a magnificent partnership of 353 with VVS Laxman," the SCG trust chairman, Rodney Cavalier, said on the occasion. "Sachin has also conducted himself with grace and dignity throughout his career. I'm sure all members and cricket fans would welcome him back to the SCG at any time."
New South Wales premier, Barry O'Farrell, who presented the award, was all praise for Tendulkar as well. "Sachin is one of the greatest cricketers ever and it's only appropriate we honour him with life membership of one of the world's greatest cricket grounds. The batting legend has said the SCG is his favourite ground outside of India and it's no wonder when you look at his record at this ground." Tendulkar averages 157 in five Tests at the SCG, with three hundreds.