Taj employee who advised Sachin in 2001 found after nephew in France sees tweet

Sachin Tendulkar once met a hotel staffer at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai who gave him a crucial advice on his elbow guard and bat swing which led to the Master Blaster making changes in his game.

16th December 2019 | 04:02 PM (IST)

Forty-five-year-old S. Guruprasad, leading a simple life in his modest house in Perambur, never imagined in his wildest dreams that a nostalgic incident he had almost forgotten would bring him into the limelight out of nowhere.​

On Friday evening, he received a call from his nephew in France that cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar had tweeted about him.​

​Sachin, through a tweet, had said he would like to meet the fan, who over a brief encounter once at the Taj Coromandel Hotel in Chennai, gave a wise suggestion about his elbow guard. He said that the fan was working as a waiter at the hotel.​

Prized possession

​"I am not on Twitter. However, my nephew, who saw the tweet, immediately knew it was me as I had shared the incident with him when it happened," Guruprasad told Sportstar, amidst the constant buzzing of his phone, which has not stopped since media tracked him on Saturday.​

​However, his recollection of the event is slightly different from how the Master Blaster remembered it.

​According to Guruprasad, the year was 2001 and he was not a waiter, but security personnel engaged by the hotel through a contractor. Rahul Dravid and Debashish Mohanty were the other players who stayed on the floor he was guarding.​

​"I saw Sachin when he was about to take the lift. I wanted his autograph, but I did not have paper. I got it in my security beat notebook," he said. The notebook has remained a prized possession since.​

​As Sachin was signing the autograph, Guruprasad asked if he could have a minute to discuss cricket. "He seemed friendly. So I wasn't hesitant to ask," he said.​

​"I told him that his elbow guard was affecting his wrist movement and swinging of the bat," he said. Sachin, in an interview, said he was surprised that a fan noticed his discomfort with the elbow guard keenly. He redesigned his guard later.​

​Guruprasad, a die-hard cricket fan, said it was a time when Sachin was the pillar of India's batting. "If he gets out, the batting line up would mostly fall like a pack of cards," he said, adding that he was always heartbroken to see Sachin getting out.​

Avid fan

​"I had noticed this about his elbow guard. But never imagined that I would get an opportunity to tell him," he added.​

​V.G. Sridharan, a close friend, said Guruprasad was then an avid player and a keen observer of the game. ​

​"We played regularly in our neighbourhood. He gave all our friends a lot of suggestions to improve. However, none of us knew or had the wherewithal to pursue our interest in cricket seriously," he said.​

​Guruprasad, who now assists a stockbroker, said the recollection and acknowledgement of the incident only showed Sachin's greatness. ​

​Now that the legend has expressed interest to catch up, he does have an appeal. "There are a lot of children in our neighbourhood, which is predominantly low income. If Sachin visits us, it will be the best thing to happen to us. We would be honoured if he allows us to show him Tamil Nadu's hospitality with a meal at our home," he added.​

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16th December 2019 | 04:02 PM (IST)