IT seems somewhat unimaginable to followers of the cricket that none of the three greatest batsmen of modern times have got their names on the honours board at Lord’s.
A century at headquarters and your name is up on the board forever.
Brian Lara won’t ever be on it now. Ricky Ponting probably won’t be, although he’s hankering after another go in two years’ time, hoping he’s still around to try and right a few wrongs.
Then there’s the best of the lot, the Little Master himself, Sachin Tendulkar, who gets a last opportunity during this First Test of an intriguing-looking series.
It may be cricketing sacrilege to suggest anyone other than Sir Don Bradman is the greatest batsman who ever lived but you’ll find many who feel that India’s finest really is the greatest.
If he hasn’t already done so by the time you read this, his 100th international century is more than likely sometime during this four Test series. All of which set me thinking ... I’ve got his autograph somewhere.
Back in 1992, Yorkshire finally got round to doing what every other county had done for a few years - sign an overseas player to strengthen their team.
Yorkshire went for the 19-year-old Tendulkar and this newspaper packed me off to Leeds to interview him.
Those interviews were held at the old Yorkshire Television Studios on the way to Headingley and I was fortunate enough to be ushered outside, just me and him, for a chat. Finally - and it is the only one I’ve ever acquired when going to see a sporting star - I asked him for his autograph and proffered my notebook. He signed.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to look for it, but wasn’t exactly sure where it was.
Fortunately, I found it. A small page, slightly creased, torn from my notebook. On it was written ‘Best always, STendulkar’ with the initial interwoven with the start of his surname. Turn it over and there’s much less comprehensible writing, ie mine.
It includes some Yorkshire details, Kellett 8, Metcalfe 11, Byas 16, Tendulkar run out 7, Blakey 5, Grayson 7 58-4 (26 overs). So I would hope it wasn’t a one-dayer.
The great man’s farewell to England this summer set me thinking what to do with it.
The suggestions fwere ... pop it on eBay and see if anyone of the zillions of cricket-mad followers (to whom he is a God) in India would cough up for it; have it framed; ask him to sign another one to see if his signature has altered; or simply put it back in the drawer!