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Making money faster than runs!


LONDON: Sachin Tendulkar is a combination of Britain's top soccer stars without their weaknesses and the country's prime minister Tony Blair with "humility," according to the prestigious London Times.

"Tendulkar is David Beckham (without the petulance), Robbie Williams (without sex and drugs), Ewan McGregor (without taking his kit off) and Tony Blair (with humility)," it said in a reference to three top soccer players and the British premier.

He is the world's best one-day batsman and makes money faster than he scores runs, the magazine said in a four-page special supplement on what it called the "diminutive big-hitter of world cricket."

"He has more fans than England world cup soccer wonder-kid Michael Owen and possesses the talent to even now win the world cup for India," it said.

At 26, Tendulkar is the "highest paid cricketer," the supplement said. "He is five million pounds (about Rs 35 crores) and yet not out."

But unlike sports super stars, the magazine noted, Tendulkar is embarrassed when asked about his healthy bank account, but not coy.

"It is very simple. What matters for me is my cricket and nothing else. Doing all these personal ads does not make me the most successful cricketer. All it matters is what I do on the field. It all happens because of that. Winning matches for India is what I want to stick to," he says.

Asked how he copes with expectations of 900 million Indians, he says, "The moment you think of what people are expecting of you, it is very hard to live up to their expectations. If I score 110, they expect 130, the day after they expect 150."

"But if I live upto my goals then I am sure I am doing a decent job for the country," the diminuitve, yet the tallest cricketer says of his mission.

The prolific batsman with 21 one-day centuries and 19 Test hundreds, who has shown more consistency than his immediate rival for the best world's best batsman tag West Indies captain Brian Lara and is as merciless as Lara's predecessor Vivian Richards, matches the millions earned by soccer's super stars, said the London Times.