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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 May 2006, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
Tendulkar cashes in with new deal
Sachin Tendulkar
There is no sign of the Tendulkar phenomenon coming to an end
India batting star Sachin Tendulkar has agreed a new three-year marketing deal, reportedly worth 21m.

He has signed with Iconix, a branch of Saatchi and Saatchi, following the expiry of a previous 10-year agreement with US company WorldTel.

"Sachin is more than just a cricket player. He's a role model for young and old Indians," Iconix chief executive V Shanthakumar commented.

"The value he commands comes from the respect and love people feel for him."

Tendulkar has played 132 Tests and 362 one-day internationals for India, and scored almost 25,000 runs, since making his debut as a 16-year-old in 1989.

And despite injury problems and the emergence of exciting new cricket talents like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Irfan Pathan, he remains a sporting icon.

"Tendulkar is still young at 33, he has just scored his (world record) 35th Test hundred and still runs around the pitch like a youngster.

"We think there is a lot more to come from him. We are not concerned about that," Shanthakumar said.

During his career, Tendulkar has endorsed everything from luxury cars, tyres, credit card, motorcycles and televisions to energy and soft drinks, shoes and biscuits, and is believed to be cricket's top money-earner.

He was a close friend of WorldTel boss Mark Mascarenhas, who he once described as being like an older brother.

But their relationship ended in tragic circumstances when Mascarenhas was killed in a road accident in 2002.

Tendulkar's commercial value was unaffected, however, as multi-national companies across India continued to try and associate themselves with him.

The 33-year-old is now preparing for his cricket comeback following surgery on his shoulder.

India begin a tour to the West Indies later this month and is unlikely he will be involved in the one-day series.

But Tendulkar still hopes to be fit for the first Test, which starts on 2 June.

A statement issued by India's Board of Control on Tuesday said: "Sachin will commence light batting drills within the week."




SEE ALSO
Tendulkar making rapid recovery
31 Mar 06 |  England
India in West Indies 2006
24 Sep 05 |  Future tour dates


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