Sachin Tendulkar has been named the global ambassador of the 2023 Cricket World Cup by the International Cricket Council (ICC).
The ICC made the announcement on Tuesday, two days before the start of the World Cup, which is set to be hosted by India. Tendulkar, whose decorated career spanned across 24 years, played in six editions of the 50-over World Cup.
Tendulkar will walk out with the Men’s Cricket World Cup Trophy before the opening match at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Thursday, declaring the tournament open, the ICC stated in its press release.
The opening fixture of the World Cup 2023 is going to be played between England and New Zealand, a game that will be a repeat of World Cup 2019’s final.
Speaking to the ICC in an interview, Tendulkar reminisced about his World Cup journey, calling India’s triumph in the 2011 edition the “proudest moment of my career”.
“From being a ball boy in 1987 to representing the country in six editions, World Cups have always held a special place in my heart. Winning the World Cup in 2011 is the proudest moment of my cricketing journey.
“Marquee events like the World Cup seed dreams in young minds, I hope this edition too inspires young girls and boys to pick up sports and represent their countries at the highest level,” added Tendulkar.
The cricket star dubbed “the Master Blaster” in India said he was looking forward to Thursday’s start of the tournament, with so many “special teams and players” set to participate.
The other ICC ambassadors of the World Cup 2023 include West Indies legend Vivian Richards, South Africa’s AB de Villiers, England World Cup-winning skipper Eoin Morgan, Australia’s Aaron Finch, Sri Lanka spin great Muttiah Muralitharan, former New Zealand captain Ross Taylor, India’s Suresh Raina and ex-captain Mithali Raj and Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez.
The 10-team World Cup is set to be played across 10 different venues in India, with the opening game and the grand finale to be held at the 132,000-seater Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The two semi-finals will be held in Mumbai (at the Wankhede Stadium) and Kolkata (at Eden Gardens).
India have not won an ICC trophy since their 2011 World Cup victory on home soil. The Rohit Sharma-led India team will open their World Cup 2023 campaign on 8 October against Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai. The Men in Blue reached Chennai on Wednesday.