Chandigarh, Apr 24: Batting icon Sachin Tendulkar turned 39 today and will celebrate the occasion with a simple cake cutting function with his family and Mumbai Indians teammates later in the evening at the team hotel here.
Even though Tendulkar has no special plans up his sleeve for his birthday, his Mumbai Indians teammates have planned a cake cutting ceremony in the evening after returning to the hotel from the practice session at the PCA stadium in Mohali ahead of their IPL match against Kings XI Punjab tomorrow.
Tendulkar, his wife Anjali along with Mumbai Indians team members reached here yesterday by an afternoon flight from Mumbai.
“Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes. I am grateful to God. I appreciate the love I have received over the years from my fans, players and well-wishers,” Tendulkar told the media.
The five star hotel where Mumbai Indians team is staying have made arrangements on their own to throw a party to celebrate Tendulkar's birthday, his first after scoring his 100th international ton.
But the event is likely to be a low-key affair in which Mumbai Indians team owner Nita Ambani is also likely to be present.
“We are ready with our arrangements, but so far there is no word from Tendulkar's side,” a senior official of the hotel, JW Marriott told PTI.
Late last night, Tendulkar graced a private party orgainsed in his honour by a local industrialist. Along with Tendulkar, some other Mumbai Indians players including James Franklin, Pragyan Ojha and Dinesh Karthik were also present on the occasion.
Tendulkar's die-hard fans, meanwhile, have made their own plans to celebrate the occasion.
“We have come to wish him on his birthday. So far he has not come out from his room. But once he does, we are waiting to wish him,” said a fan, who along with his friends have been camping outside the hotel since morning.
Some fans said that they have ordered special cakes and plans to celebrate Tendulkar's birthday in their own way. Last year, Tendulkar did not celebrate his birthday following the demise of his spiritual guru Satya Sai Baba.
Tendulkar has scored 51 centuries in Test cricket from 188 matches and 49 tons from 463 ODIs he has played so far in his international career spanning nearly 23 years. Meanwhile, at a party hosted by industrialist Rajiv Bali at his residence last night, Tendulkar's wife Anjali was also present.
While Tendulkar was wearing the printed T-shirt with butterfly motifs, Anjali was wearing a black dress. Bali had ordered a cake with ‘100' written on it to mark the veteran batsman's milestone of reaching his 100th international ton.
At the party, Tendulkar could be seen giving autographs to his fans, many of them children who were in a state of disbelief to find the legend amongst themselves.
Tendulkar also clicked photographs with his fans and chatted with Atul Wassan, cricketer-turned-commentator, who was among the invitees. Later, Tendulkar cut the cake.