Legendary cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Shane Warne were great competitors on the field but great mates off it. Warne, who is the second-highest wicket-taker in Test cricket history with 708 scalps, toured India for a full series for the first time back in 1998.
The three-match India vs Australia Test series was billed as ‘Tendulkar vs Warne’ instead of ‘India vs Australia’. However, in an interesting anecdote shared by Tendulkar in the new documentary called ‘Shane’, the Mumbai maestro recounted a funny dinner encounter in Mumbai.
“Sachin and I we got along great, we were great mates and we still are. When we got to India, it was ‘Warne vs Tendulkar’, it wasn’t ‘Australia vs India’,” Warne said in the documentary recounting the series.
Before the first Test in Chennai, the Australia team landed up in Mumbai to play a first-class game against Mumbai. “We were in Mumbai and I asked him, why don’t you come over for a meal. I asked him what would you like? Do you like Indian food? He said, ‘oh, I love it’. I asked anything specific – spicy, less spicy? But he said he’ll have whatever we cooked at home, authentic Indian style,” Tendulkar recalled about the invitation to Warne.
“I took a bite of the chicken and nearly blew my head off,” Warne said.
Tendulkar then went on to explain Warne’s solution to escape the spicy chicken that evening. “When I was busy serving other people of the table, I noticed that Shane kept nudging my manager all the time. Eventually my manager told me that Shane hasn’t eaten anything yet. But I saw his plate was half empty but my manager told me that while I was busy serving other, Shane was busy putting everything on my manager’s plate. That’s when I realized that Shane cannot handle spicy food,” Tendulkar said.
“I had too much respect for Sachin and his family, they had gone through the trouble of a lovely meal,” Warne said.
Tendulkar revealed that by the end of that dinner meeting, Warne was in his kitchen cooking up sausages. “By the end of that evening, Shane went into the kitchen and he was cooking sausages, beans and mashed potatoes and ended up eating those things,” Tendulkar said.
The Indian legend ended up as the top-scorer in that three-match Test series which India won 2-1, scoring 446 runs at an average of 111.5 with two hundreds and 1 fifty while Warne ended up picking 10 wickets in three Tests.
(The documentary ‘Shane’ will be exclusively available on BookMyShow Stream from January 15th, 2022 for Indian fans)