Sydney, Feb 26: Veteran batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday became the first overseas player to receive the honorary life membership of the Sydney Cricket Ground.
New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrel, presenting the award said, "Sachin is one of the greatest cricketers ever and it's only appropriate we honour him with life membership of one of the world's greatest cricket grounds.
Praising Tendulkar for his sportmanship and record in the game, O'Farrel said, "The batting legend has said the SCG is his favourite ground outside of India and it's no wonder when you look at his record at this ground."
"Sachin has provided crowds with wonderful memories at the SCG. He averages an amazing 157 in Tests; headed by his magnificent double century in 2004 Test. Always a crowd favourite, Sachin has often received support akin to Australian legends of the game.
"Many in the crowd today will be willing him towards his much-vaunted 100th hundred. Regardless of how many runs today, I'm certain the Sydney crowd will pay appropriate tribute to this legend of the game in which is almost certain to be his last match at the SCG," he added.
Rodney Cavalier, SCG Trust chairman said the honorary membership given to Tendulkar was for his contribution to cricket at the SCG.
At this ground, Tendulkar has scored 785 runs from five Tests at an average of 157.00 while in one-day internationals, he has made 301 from seven matches at 60.20.
"The Trust does not award honorary membership lightly. Sachin is the first overseas player in any sport and only the second cricketer to be handed the honour," said Cavalier.
"Cricket fans have been treated to many splendid innings by Sachin at the SCG, including his innings of 241 in 2004 where he shared a magnificent stand of 353 with VVS Laxman."