Sachin Tendulkar’s favorite place to play away from home, the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), has a statue of him to celebrate his 50th birthday, which is being recognized all over the world. He is the first cricketer from a country other than Australia to have a set of gates at the famous ground named after him and his good friend Brian Lara. Since they took the cricket world by storm in the early 1990s, the player with the most runs ever and his fellow great batter have been close friends. They will now share the Gates named for them.
They are in the space between the away changing room in the Member’s Pavilion and the Noble Bradman Messenger Stand. And the Pakistan men’s cricket team is expected to be the first team to walk through the Lara-Tendulkar Gates when the annual New Year’s Test is held in Sydney early next year. The Indian team will have to wait a year before they can do the same thing.
The Australian cricket team has always used the Don Bradman Gates, which are to the right of their home changing room between the Members and Ladies Pavilions. Arthur Morris and Alan Davidson are the other two famous Australians who have gates at the SCG named after them.
Cricadda has learned that the decision to honor Tendulkar and Lara has been in the works since the summer of 2019-20, which was the last time the two former leaders were in Australia together. But since Tendulkar’s big birthday was coming up, it was decided that April 24, 2023, would be the best day to open the Lara-Tendulkar Gates. The SCG and Venues New South Wales Chairman Rod McGeoch AO and CEO Kerrie Mather, along with Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley, showed them off on Monday morning.
This will be the first time that Tendulkar’s name will be carved into stone at a famous site outside of India. At the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India, a stand is named after him. But it makes sense that it should happen at the SCG, where Tendulkar had some of his best Test cricket moments. The batsman’s average in five Tests in Sydney was a huge 157. He scored three centuries, starting with 148 not out in 1991. During that run, Tendulkar went from being a prodigious boy wonder to the next big thing in cricket. Commentator Greg Chappell said it best: “We are seeing one of the shining stars of world cricket coming into view.” Tendulkar also got his best score against Australia at the SCG, a huge 241 not out in 2004, which was Steve Waugh’s last Test.
It was also at the SCG that Lara, who has a field named after him in his home country of Trinidad, came of age with his amazing 277, which is still considered to be one of the best knocks by a visiting batter in Australia. Ironically, Lara’s story came out exactly one year after Tendulkar became a big deal on these shores. The two best batters of their time scored a total of 1169 runs in Tests at the SCG, for an average of 97.41. And there is a plaque at the Lara-Tendulkar Gates that talks about the pair’s amazing records at the historic site.
“My favorite ground outside of India has been the Sydney Cricket Ground. Since my first trip to Australia in 1991-1992, I have had some great moments at the SCG. Tendulkar said, “It is a great honor to have the gates that all visiting cricket players use to get to the playing field at the SCG named after me and my good friend Brian.”
“I’d like to thank the SCG staff and Cricket Australia for doing this nice thing. I’m excited to go to the SCG soon,” he said.
“It is a great honor for Sachin and me to be recognized at the Sydney Cricket Ground. “The ground has a lot of special memories for me, and my family and I always enjoy going there when I’m in Australia,” said Lara, who named his first child Sydney after his amazing double century here.
“Sachin Tendulkar’s record at the SCG is simply amazing,” said CEO Mather. “Brian Lara’s first Test century is still one of the most famous innings by a visiting player.” CA CEO Hockley, on the other hand, was aware of how important it was for foreign teams to walk through the Lara-Tendulkar Gates and onto “the holy ground at the SCG.”
“Their achievements will no doubt be an inspiration not only to visiting international teams but to all players who are lucky enough to step onto the hallowed turf of the Sydney Cricket Ground,” he said.
Tendulkar got a lot of runs at the SCG, which he called his “favorite cricket ground outside of my home country.” He and the SCG also had a special relationship over the 20 years that he played Test cricket there. Every time he walked out to bat in Sydney, people chanted “Sachin, Sachin” just as loudly as they did in venues all over India.
Before his last Test at the SCG in 2012, Tendulkar said, “There are some grounds where you go out and feel like you can do well. The SCG is one of those grounds where I feel comfortable.”
Now, players from all over the world will feel like they can “do well” here for generations to come, especially since they’ll walk out to bat through the Gates named after two men who felt most at home in the middle of the SCG.