Sachin Tendulkar today became the first Indian sportsperson to adorn the cover of the American newsweekly Time which says the ''Bombay bomber`s,`` batting performances have earned him comparisions with soccer great Diego Maradona.
Although cricket is hardly known in the United States, the latest issue of the prestigious magazine carries a write up on this week`s World Cup in England with the Indian batting maestro shown in the follow through of a cover drive.
Speaking about the comparison between Tendulkar and Maradona, Time noted that both were short, stocky and curly-haired.
''But unlike the Argentine ace, Tendulkar is a level-headed, even bland professional who does all his hell-raising at the wicket.
''He wields the heaviest bat in the game, both literally and figuratively, and is a quick reader of bowlers and wicket conditions,`` it said.
The magazine said, ''it`s difficult to single out a standout Tendulkar performance, as there are so many - and so many to come.
''He already owns the record for the most one-day international centuries, and he has atleast ten playing years ahead of him. Gulp!``
The four-page cover story which celebrates the top batsmen in the shortened version of the game - who lift the game to dizzy heights as entertainers - and captures cricket`s phenomenal growth in the Indian sub-continent thanks to India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka cornering glory in three of the last four editions.