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Sachin comes to the party


ADELAIDE : Sachin Tendulkar, the world's best batsman, will arrive in Australia today for a private meeting with Sir Donald Bradman tomorrow and to attend the Don's 90th birthday party tomorrow night.

Negotiations were completed yesterday morning for the Indian champion's brief visit, following doubts that his United States-based management company would agree to terms with the Nine Network, which is providing two return airline tickets - for Tendulkar and his manager Mark Mascarenhas, of the Connecticut-based WorldTel - and perhaps a financial consideration in return for exclusivity.

Tendulkar and Mascarenhas will arrive in Perth from Bombay this afternoon and will fly to Adelaide tonight. They are due to leave for Delhi, via Melbourne and Hong Kong, on Friday morning, having spent just 42 hours in Australia before Tendulkar returns home to rejoin India's cricket squad at a training camp.

Arrangements have been made for Tendulkar to meet privately with Sir Donald tomorrow before he attends the $125-a-head, black-tie "Grand Bradman Dinner" for 1150 guests at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

For privacy reasons, Sir Donald will not attend the dinner, the proceeds of which will go towards the funding of the Bradman Collection, Sir Donald's own records and memorabilia housed in the South Australian State Library.

Australian Test star Shane Warne, a friend of Tendulkar's, will fly from Melbourne to Adelaide tomorrow, presumably at Nine's request. He is expected to join the Indian ace's audience with the Don and to attend the dinner.