Guruprasad: The die-hard fan who advised Tendulkar

Only a handful of Guruprasad’s friends knew this secret for 19 years till Tendulkar himself made it public on Saturday through a tweet.

Forty-six-year-old S Guruprasad had not just met master blaster Sachin Tendulkar in 2001 at a five-star hotel here where he working as a security guard then but had advised him to redesign his elbow guard to improve his batting.

Only a handful of Guruprasad’s friends knew this secret for 19 years till Tendulkar himself made it public on Saturday through a tweet.

“A chance encounter can be memorable! I had met a staffer at Taj Coromandel, Chennai during a Test series with whom I had a discussion about my elbow guard, after which I redesigned it. I wonder where he is now & wish to catch up with him. Hey netizens, can you help me find him?” Tendulkar had tweeted in English and Tamil on Saturday.

The tweet set off a frenzied search for the “lucky one” who got to advise the cricketer. The suspense ended when Guruprasad’s nephew, who works in France, replied to Tendulkar on Twitter that the man indeed was his uncle and a local television news crew landed up at his residence in Chennai.  

Though Guruprasad had several ups and downs in his life after the chance meeting with Tendulkar – he lost his parents in 2003 – the 46-year-old, who now deals with the share market, never forgot the incident. But what has pleasantly surprised him is Tendulkar vividly remembering the incident and posting it on the social media site.

“Me remembering the incident isn’t big. But Sachin not just remembering the incident but also expressing his wish to meet me is just out of the world. I am amazed at the magnanimity of such a great cricketer that the world has ever seen,” Guruprasad told DH.  

“I would be more than happy if Sachin comes to my house and breaks bread with us. That will be the happiest day in my life,” he added.

Tendulkar, who was in this metropolis for a one-day match, stayed at the luxurious Taj Coromandel five-star hotel here and Guruprasad, then 27, was a security guard in-charge of the floor. Though Sachin had said that the person who helped him was a waiter, Guruprasad said the cricketer might have got confused since he was also wearing a uniform.

As he saw Tendulkar coming out of his room, Guruprasad rushed to the ‘God of cricket’ and hurriedly held out his ‘beat book’ to get an autograph of his favourite cricketer.

After getting his prized possession, Guruprasad stumped Tendulkar saying he had an advice for him. When the cricketer asked him to go ahead, Guruprasad told Tendulkar that his arm guard was changing his bat swing and that he has to work on it.

“I told Tendulkar that his wrest movement was getting arrested while batting due to the arm guard. The instant question from Sachin was how I say this for sure. I told him that I was one of his die-hard fans and I watch all his movements. And a few days later, I saw Sachin had changed his elbow guard,” Guruprasad told DH, walking down the memory lane.

In the video which he shared along with the tweet, Tendulkar said he got his elbow guard redesigned according to the correct size and required padding after coming back to his room at the hotel.

Shyam Sundar N, Guruprasad’s nephew, was the first to tweet to Tendulkar that his uncle was the one who he is looking for. “That's my uncle whom you are looking for. He met you in the second floor when you were getting down to the ground floor. He is the one who said your wrist guard is arresting your wrist movements. I have attached the autograph you signed for him and a picture of him,” Sundar wrote to Sachin.

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