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Touched by greatness: Sachin Tendulkar visits West Hampstead

Sachin Tendulkar – cricket’s finest batsman of recent times, and arguably of all time – spent about an hour and a half in West Hampstead today. The Little Master, as he is known, was recording a piece for Sky Sports, which is making a documentary about him. By happy coincidence, Sky Sports producer Bryan Henderson is also the president of Hampstead Cricket Club in Lymington Road (which turns 150 next year) and the stars aligned to bring India’s former test captain and talisman to the ground.

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In his native India, Tendulkar is worshipped like a god. Ever since he burst onto the international scene at just 16, he has wowed crowds with his astonishing skill. He retired from Test Cricket in November last year, aged 40, with many of the sport’s batting records in his locker.

As well as doing pieces to camera, Tendulkar also spent time with the club’s colts batting and bowling with them. Although some of the younger players may not have been aware of Tendulkar’s prowess, their parents were suitably bowled over.

Cricket is one of the few big professional sports where global greats mingle with club level players, but while international players certainly pop up at clubs like Hampstead from time to time, it’s not so often that an all-time great spends time passing on tips to some local kids.