To accompany Sachin Tendulkar in the 22 yards is a dream come true for any cricketer in the world and not many non-Indians have had the opportunity to do the same. Former South Africa bowling all-rounder Ryan McLaren is one such lucky overseas cricketers who had the opportunity to not just bat with Tendulkar but even open the innings with him.
The 36-year-old recalled an incident during his stint in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2010. In a video uploaded on the Cricket World Cup Twitter handle, McLaren, who mostly comes out to bat around No.8, was asked to open for the franchise he played for — Mumbai Indians (MI). And it was none other than the then MI captain Tendulkar who had given him the golden offer. “Ryan, fancy opening the batting with me?” the legend had asked.
“The one occasion that I did open the batting was in IPL 2010 in India. I was playing for Mumbai Indians and I used to bat at eight with Dwayne (Bravo) and Kieron (Pollard) ahead of me,” DNA quoted him as saying.
“It was rocked up at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru and I got called by Sachin (Tendulkar) and he said to me, you got to be opening the batting today. It was like a massive shocker. It was like a kid was stealing your ice-cream.”
"Ryan, fancy opening the batting with me?" said @sachin_rt.
Ryan McLaren tells the story about how he once opened the batting with Sachin Tendulkar. pic.twitter.com/3wIxvuapAp
— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) January 29, 2020
Ryan McLaren was also awarded Man of the Match in that game
McLaren said he was a little surprised to have faced compatriot Dale Steyn who was quite quick at the time. But given the fact that he got to open with the legendary Tendulkar, nothing else mattered to him.
On the ground, McLaren started nervously made it his day as he belted 40 off 42 runs (Tendulkar made 19) and then took the key wicket of Jacques Kallis — another compatriot — to help Mumbai win by 57 runs and bag the Man of the Match award. Mumbai went all the way to the final that year but lost to Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings by 22 runs.
McLaren played in the IPL in three seasons only (2010, 2011 and 2013) and he represented as many franchises (Kings XI Punjab and Kolkata Knight Riders besides Mumbai) in which he made 159 runs and took 12 wickets in 18 games. McLaren, who last played for SA in 2014, is currently involved with the ICC U19 World Cup in his country
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