A quiet but warm celebration marked Sachin Tendulkar's 35th birthday. The master batsman, surrounded by his cheerful Mumbai Indians team-mates, cut a cake at a city hotel in Chennai on Thursday.
As Tendulkar cut the rectangular-shaped cake, which had the logo of Mumbai Indians, he was joined by two other Mumbai Indians' players, Luke Ronchi and Vikrant Yeligati, who had a delayed celebration as their birthdays clashed with the team's match against Chennai Super Kings on Wednesday.
New Zealander Ronchi turned 27, while Yeligati celebrated his 23rd birthday.
Tendulkar admitted missing his family on the occasion and said, "I wish I could celebrate my birthday with my wife and children, but that is not so. They are joining me at Mohali tomorrow."
Asked what was the best gift he got, Tendulkar replied, "The wishes of my fans and teammates is the best gift I have received today. I hope I will perform better this year."
After cutting the cake, Tendulkar gave the first piece to Ronchi and then offered a piece to cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, who is also part of the Mumbai Indians' think-tank.
On Tendulkar's insistence, the cake was distributed to all present at the party, including the media.
On the occasion, Bhogle released a book, titled Tendulkar, edited by Mudar Patherya and published by Rathipriya Trading Private Ltd.
The 300-page, hard cover bound book with a logo of Mumbai Indians on it, has Tendulkar's photographs since childhood, articles and comments by legends of the game, including by Sir Don Bradman.
Bhogle read out some of the comments of legendary cricketers and Tendulkar listened with rapt attention in the presence of Reliance Retail CEO R Balachandran.