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Was Centurion named in honour of Sachin?

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Published: Monday, December 20, 2010, 16:12 [IST]
 
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Was Centurion named in honour of Sachin?

How fitting is it that "Centurion" stadium in the town of Centurion, has witnessed the chief Centurion of them all, Sachin Tendulkar, reach his 50th Test ton? Is it a mere coincidence or is there more than meets the eye? Could the inhabitants of Centurion have had a premonition that a highly-venerated Centurion would happen through their prized Park?

In fact, there is no anecdote or significance behind the origin of the name of the cricket venue. It was simply named Centurion Park by the concerned authorities when it was constructed in 1994-95. But so popular was the ground that it came to lend its name to the town which surrounded it. Previously, the settlement was called Lyttelton till in 1967, the name was changed to Verwoerdburg after the Hendrik Verwoerd, the supposed "architect of apartheid".

Centurion belongs to the Guanteng province of South Africa and is located between Pretoria and Johannesburg. The town is home to the Sterkfontein Caves which bears evidence that humans lived in the vicinity of Centurion between 2 to 3 million years ago. The place of the caves is today a World Heritage Site. Now, the cricket stadium has become historic as well, due to an Indian who has forever etched his name in its hall of fame.

It is possible that the autorities in Centurion sensed that Sachin or some great batsman would reach a major century-related milestone between their grass banks. After all, Cenurion Park came to be when the vaunted Tendulkar, Lara and Mark Waugh were very much on the scene and striking ton after ferocious ton. It just so happened that Tendulkar's run outlasted his contemporaries and he has had the honour of setting a new world record at Centurion.

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