Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar has been voted into the ESPNcricinfo's all-time World XI team. The honour was bestowed upon Tendulkar who finds himself in the company of an elite class of cricketers which includes four Australians, three West Indians, two Englishmen and one Pakistani.
A beaming Tendulkar who is delighted with his veneration said ""It would have been great to play in this dream team, to walk out with Bradman after lunch, or build a partnership with Viv Richards, and talk to Sobers about cricket,"
Tendulkar whose career has spanned over two decades thus far says he is especially pleased that he has played with about two-thirds of this special team. "I played with Malcolm Marshall in county cricket, I played against Viv Richards in an exhibition game, and Lillee bowled to me at the nets at the MRF Pace Academy, when I was 15," he said. Sachin described his selection in this dream team is "unreal" and the team as "extraordinary company to be in".
Other veterans who find a place in the side are wicket-keeper/opening batsman Adam Gilchrist, pace legend Dennis Lillee and his Pakistani counterpart Wasim Akram. Akram has stated being picked in the side as one his biggest achievement. "I never thought I would play for Pakistan, let alone be picked for an all-time World XI like this", he said. Akram bid adieu to cricket with a career haul of 414 wickets in tests at a staggering average of 23.62.
Gilchrist, chosen in the side as one of three players to have retired in the last decade, humbly said that many other wicket-keepers could have been chosen over him."I do think there were several other wicketkeepers, like Rod Marsh, Ian Healy, Mark Boucher or Alan Knott, who could have easily been picked ahead of me in this team," Gilchrist said.
The man behind the MRF pace foundation in Chennai and a legend in his time Dennis Lillee, led the votes for the list of fast bowlers. "It is an honour to be picked by a jury that was made up of eight Test captains as well as respected historians and writers," he said. "Looking at the composition of the team, it's hard to question any of those selected. Though some great players have missed out, it would be interesting to pick another world team from those remaining."