The answer is Sachin Tendulkar. While it has become common knowledge that the Little Master has been bestowed with such an honour, not many people know that this 'post' is the first of its kind in World Cup history. For none of the previous nine editions of the mega-tournament have there been brand ambassadors appointed to present a celebrity face to the 50-over event. So, why did organisers suddenly feel the need for such?
The answer quite possibly lies in the fact that the popularity of 50-over cricket is on a slight wane, thanks to the advent of the Twenty20 format of the game. One definite indicator of this phenomenon is that the prize money that the winner of the T20 Indian Premier League takes home (around $2 million in 2010) is fast catching up with that of the Cricket World Cup ($3 million). And that's not counting the individuals price tags that IPL players are signed up for.
So, Sachin has been roped into the World Cup promotional campaign to render the tournament with an additional boost. After all, what better man for the job than the tournament's highest run-getter and someone poised to equal Pakistan great Javed Miandad for the most number of World Cup appearances (six).
Lauding the move was former Indian captain Kapil Dev who said, “I am thankful to ICC for naming Tendulkar as the brand ambassador of the World Cup. I am happy they did not pick any film star, singer or a politician to be their brand ambassador. I genuinely feel that the game should be promoted by the cricketers who played the game. I am deeply touched by the gesture and I am sure we could not have got a better person than Tendulkar as the ambassador."