Till today, there’s still talk about his immediate future. For starters, is he playing the 2011 World Cup? None other than BCCI president Shashank Manohar took the initiative to spell it out that it is "Tendulkar who will win the 2011 World Cup for India".
Manohar spoke to TOI about Tendulkar’s achievements, after he recently completed 20 years playing the game at the highest level. "The greatest thing about Tendulkar is his down to earth behaviour. It is the combination of his humility and passion for the game that has helped him survive for two decades," Manohar said.
Where are the sponsors?
The BCCI has kept November 24 as the deadline to receive global bids to sponsor four of its national teams and also the national men’s and women’s apparel sponsorship. The existing deal for the national team sponsorship are held with Sahara India Parivar (Rs 400 crore approx for four years) which ends in March 2010.
The apparel deal with Nike ends around the same time too. However, with exactly a week to go before the Board goes any further, TOI has learnt that the response for the apparel sponsorship in particular has been very weak.
Nike had bought the rights previously for around $42m (Rs 197 crore), a figure that most in the industry believe is very high. The BCCI is tightlipped on the issue for now.
BCCI sold the bid documents at Rs five lakh a copy which was "non-refundable and non-adjustable", as per the tender notice. The bidding process ends at 5 pm on November 24 and the board has reserved its right to "cancel or amend the entire bidding process at any stage and to reject any and all bids without providing any reason."