ADELAIDE : Cricket stars Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne paid a visit to the home of the world's best known player on Thursday, but Sir Donald Bradman felt the hype surrounding his 90th birthday was ``a bit too much.''
Tendulkar said he hoped to discuss his batting technique during a private meeting with Sir Donald Bradman. Despite being tired from the trip, Tendulkar was happy to have arrived as he was keen to get some batting tips from Sir Donald.
``Well, I've never liked comparisons, but I don't think anybody can be compared to Sir Don Bradman at all,'' Tendulkar said. Asked if he thought he could get close to Sir Don's record, Tendulkar said: ``I don't think so, I think he's the ultimate.'
Tendulkar said meeting Bradman was something he had hoped for all his life. ``I'm very happy about it, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity I'm glad I have made it,'' Tendulkar said.
The reclusive Bradman played 52 Tests in his career and finished with a peerless average of 99.94, almost 40 runs better than the next highest on the all-time list, South African Graeme Pollock. Indian captain Tendulkar, whom Bradman described as reminding him of himself as a player, is considered one of the world's best batsmen and has an average in the 50s.
He and Warne were welcomed to Bradman's Adelaide home on Thursday ahead of a dinner in his honour which 1,300 attended. The Don stayed home.
After stepping out of cricket as a player, selector and administrator, Bradman stepped straight out of public life.
Tendulkar and Warne's was a rare visit into Bradman's sanctuary and they stayed about an hour before the man described as the greatest living Australian by Prime Minister John Howard walked them to the door.
Asked by a reporter if he was enjoying the occasion, Bradman's reply summed up his attitude to public scrutiny.
``How do I feel? It would be a lot better without all the cameras around,'' Bradman said. ``It is all a bit too much.''
Former Australian captain Greg Chappell, now the South Australian state cricket manager, filled in for Bradman to cut a birthday cake at a lunchtime celebration in Adelaide.
``I think he has earned the right at 90 years of age to have a quiet celebration with his family and just sit back and relax and enjoy it,'' Chappell said.
National newspaper The Australian devoted a four-page tribute to Bradman, who, encouragingly, was never dismissed in the nineties during his career.
The tribute matched another four-page effort earlier in the week by the Sydney Morning Herald as Australia paid tribute to the man known as ``the little bloke,'' who has endured, rather than enjoyed, fame for the past 70 years.