London: Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday announced a new innings of his life by joining a team that will create a brand new range of cricketing gear to hit the market from October 1.
The 'Master Blaster' joined Australia-headquartered Spartan International as an investor and member of the advisory board to provide his unique expertise to enhance the safety of helmets, gloves and leg guards among other sporting gear.
"In the second innings of my life, as I call it, post-retirement this is one opportunity where I am not looking at it from a business point of view but it is the passion which has taken the front seat. I want to do something for the next generations, where they are protected," he told reporters in London on Tuesday.
Still limping following his recent knee surgery, the 43-year-old joked about his "new walk", adding: "A few years ago I was on the other side of the fence. Now I am part of Team Spartan, where I am determined and motivated to give something back to the sport which has given me everything in life. The safety of any individual is important and that is our prime focus. The journey has just begun for a great partnership."
On a personal note, he pointed to breaking his fingers on a number of occasions during fielding and batting and indicated a brand new idea that he has hit upon for better cricketing gloves.
"That is all part and parcel of the game but something I would want to share with Team Spartan would be my experience of 25 years of international cricket and what are the areas where we can continue getting better. I feel equipment is an extension of your body. A cricket bat is an extension of your arm. Gloves is something important - we have had a fantastic idea which will be unveiled soon, it will be unique, something which protects the fingers," he said.
The iconic Indian batsman also made specific reference to the importance of having more "solid helmets" to prevent future injuries and "keep up our pace and press the pedal as hard as possible to meet all the expectations".
"Today's players and sportsmen are expecting the equipment to get better and there is a lot of competition in the field of sports goods manufacturing and lot of innovation. So it is important to be ahead of the competition," Tendulkar said.
Spartan International dates back to 1953 when it was founded in Jalandhar as a football manufacturer. Today it claims to be an "innovative product developer" across a broad range of sports including cricket, all football disciplines, netball, basketball and a range of health & fitness products, including shoes and apparel, which are distributed around the world including India.
Kunal Sharma, managing director & founder of Spartan Sports, said it was "an unbelievable feeling to have Sachin on board as partner".
"An icon like him being able to provide his expertise is mind-blowing," added Ravi Thakran, chairman of Spartan International.
In January 2016, Spartan also launched the first global Virtual Sports Club called the Spartan Cricket Club, which provides a unique global forum including a wide range of services dedicated to promoting cricket among cricket communities and fans around the world.
The Spartan Cricket Club boasts some of the world's highest performing cricketers, including MS Dhoni, Chris Gayle, Eoin Morgan, Michael Clarke, Mitchell Johnson, Joe Burns and Holly Ferling as its foundation members. Now, Sachin will also join the club to further develop the sport and healthy living around the world....