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THE TONK

Australia v West Indies third cricket Test: Sachin Tendulkar courted for star-studded dinner

Is Sachin Tendulkar on the way back to Sydney? The mail is the Little Master is being lined up as the feature guest at a dinner in February celebrating some of the greatest sportsmen and women to have played on the SCG over the years. Tendulkar obviously fits the criteria, having scored two centuries in five Tests in Sydney including that 241 not out in the 2003/04 series that ranks as high as any innings played at the ground. Organisers of the "Legends of the game on the SCG" dinner hope this year's inaugural event, to be staged on February 8 in the venue's Noble dining room, will become an annual occasion, and Tendulkar is about as big a first-year name as there would be for them to snare. The Indian great's last appearance in Sydney was in 2014 at the Bradman honorees' dinner in the very same room when he was inducted alongside Steve Waugh. At that function he told some captivating stories but had to have minders follow him into the men's toilets, such was the fervour of his fans who blagged their way in with bats, picture books and other paraphernalia for him to sign. For more information and tickets go to scglegends.com.au.

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The golden boy: Sachin Tendulkar.
The golden boy: Sachin Tendulkar. Photo: Cole Bennetts
Grey, off white, ivory, bone and beige: The Richie Benaud impersonators on day two of the third Test at the SCG.

Grey, off white, ivory, bone and beige: The Richie Benaud impersonators on day two of the third Test at the SCG. Photo: Getty Images

Richie Benaud's spirit lives on at the SCG and not just with the hundreds of impersonators who sat for as long as they could in the Clive Churchill Stand before it poured down on Monday. A stray cat that calls the ground home has also been named after the former Test captain after brushing up against Richie's wife Daphne, his brother John and son Jeff when they were having their photo taken next to his sculpture beside the Ladies Pavilion earlier this summer. "Richie was a cat lover and we'd like to think that the little fella's arrival coincided with Richie leaving us," SCG Trust chairman Tony Shepherd said at lunch in the Trust suite on Monday. "With Daphne's blessing, we'd taken to calling the cat Richie and our grounds staff had been taking care of him."

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A word with Richardson 

West Indies great Richie Richardson will take time out from his duties as the tourists' team manager on Tuesday to speak with the SCG XI, the Trust's touring team of members who can be distinguished by the black and yellow blazers they wear to the Sydney Test each year. The SCG XI have previously played at Lord's and have an Indian tour coming up in April in which they will play four matches in Mumbai and Delhi. They're keen to speak to Richardson about getting a Caribbean tour off the ground. 

Coal to Newcastle

We had to laugh when the raffle prize-winners were announced at the luncheon hosted by Cricket NSW chairman John Warn in the Steve Waugh Room on Monday. The winner of a ball, signed by Pat Cummins, was about the last bloke who needed one: Kookaburra national sales manager Leigh Watts.

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