Kolkata: West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee described Sachin Tendulkar as a `golden boy` as the state government and the Cricket Association of Bengal jointly felicitated the senior Indian batsman for completing one hundred international centuries.
The felicitation ceremony was held at the Eden Gardens just ahead of the IPL clash between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians.
Congratulating Tendulkar on behalf of the government, Mamata said, “He is a golden boy. That`s why we have gifted you a golden bat and ball. We salute your achievement. We are so proud of you.”
Tendulkar greeted the jam-packed Eden crowd first in Bengali by saying `Bhalo Achi` and then added, “Thank you all for your support I`ve seen over the years. It has been a pleasure playing here. I will cherish these memories. I hope you continue to support me and the Indian team as you always have.”
Earlier the chief minister handed Tendulkar the golden bat and ball and also an earthen pot, containing 100 rasogollas (sweets).
CAB boss Jagmohan Dalmiya also joined them as Tendulkar was bestowed with gifts, including a traditional `Uttario` (scarf).
Dalmiya also handed the cricketer a memento that read: `Congratulations Sachin Tendulkar for 100 international centuries`.
Mamata had recently suggested Tendulkar`s name for the highest civilian honour — Bharat Ratna — in his congratulatory message when the Mumbai stalwart had notched the feat in Dhaka.
The majestic Eden was decked up with giant Tendulkar banners that read `CAB salutes Sachin`.
The CAB also had put up 65,000-odd small posters in each of the chairs in the stadium for the felicitation.
“This is for the first time, he came here after the milestone. So we plannned to felicitate him in a befitting manner jointly by the state government,” CAB chief Jagmohan Dalmiya said.