Tendulkar turns 39; teammates, fans celebrate

Chandigarh: Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar today turned 39 and celebrated the occasion with a simple cake cutting function with his wife and Mumbai Indians teammates at the team hotel here.

Video: Tendulkar turns 39»

After a strenuous training session at the PCA Stadium at Mohali ahead of Mumbai Indians` IPL match tomorrow, a small party was held with his MI teammates cutting the birthday cake which had cricket field as its theme.

The PCA also organised a small function to mark Tendulkar`s birthday, where a cake was cut and a memento was presented to him by Joint Secretary G S Walia.

"Many many happy returns of the day. May he stay happy and healthy forever," MI skipper Harbhajan Singh said wishing the legend.

"It`s a bit of a tradition that you celebrate by painting pieces of cake on each other`s face. It`s quite fun," said MI coach Shaun Pollock.

Meanwhile, Tendulkar`s die-hard fans celebrated the occasion in their own way by cutting cakes at various places and carrying posters of their icon. He was mobbed by the fans at the PCA Stadium where he had a practice session in the afternoon.

It was a busy day for Tendulkar who reached here yesterday with his wife Anjali to the rousing welcome by the fans and a battery of mediapersons at the team hotel here.

After attending a late night party with Anjali yesterday at the residence of a local industrialist, Tendulkar had a quiet morning, spending time with his better half.

Tendulkar then quietly made his way to the PCA Stadium in the afternoon for the team practice and the fans did not get a hint of this.

Before leaving for the PCA Stadium, he attended a book release function by a leading newspaper group.

Like at the hotel, he was mobbed at the PCA stadium again by his fans who wished him happy birthday and were keen to get an autograph and click pictures with him.

Tendulkar thanked his fans for their "best wishes and prayers".

"Thanks for best wishes and prayers through all these years. Thanks to everyone including my fans, well-wishers and the media. I am grateful to God," the birthday boy said.

He profusely thanked his die-hard fans and the players for showering love and affection on him.

It was Tendulkar`s first birthday after scaling the epic feat of scoring 100 international centuries.

As Tendulkar was about to leave the ground for his hotel in the team bus, there was a surge of fans and police and other security personnel had to escort him inside.

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