An enterprising UK firm had been eagerly waiting for cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar to hit the historic landmark of 100 international centuries – after catching a lucrative deal worth up to £4.2 million.
Autographs of the World has been appointed sole, worldwide exclusive agent to market five items of limited edition memorabilia signed by Tendulkar to celebrate the India star becoming the first ever batsmen to hit the milestone; one of the most incredible achievements in modern sport.
After 12 months stuck on 99 centuries, Tendulkar finally reached the landmark with a century off 138 balls against Bangladesh in Mirpur on Friday, March 16. He went on to score 114 in the Asia Cup match.
Autographs of the World, working in partnership with Universal Collectabillia, has designed and produced five exclusive items in conjunction with Tendulkar himself.
The Tendulkar Century of Centuries collection includes – mounted and framed – 100 Adidas bats, 500 official India cricket shirts, 100 platinum prints, 2,000 gold prints and just 50 showcases which include a range of full kit including a bat, pads, shirt, helmet, gloves and a ball – all signed by Tendulker immediately after reaching the historic achievement.
Autographs of the World, based in Coventry in the West Midlands, also represents the Professional Cricketers’ Association (PCA) and the ECB on all memorabilia matters.
Managing director Hamilton Bland said: “When we saw this was looming, I travelled out to Hyderabad to meet with Sachin’s advisers to try to do a deal, and succeeded. The fact that I represent the Professional Cricketers’ Association and the ECB including the English cricket team in memorabilia matters really helped.
“The following for India cricket is massive not only in the country itself but also globally. What Sachin Tendulkar has achieved is extraordinary, and the chances are that no other cricketer will ever come close to matching it.
“The Century of Centuries is the only official merchandise in the world to mark this momentous feat and has enormous investment potential. It will be a collection of the most sought-after items of sporting memorabilia ever produced.
“Sachin personally approved all of the items in the collection so understandably we’ve been flooded with enquiries from collectors all over the world.
“We estimate the collection could fetch in excess of £4.2 million in re-sale value, so you can imagine I was sweating right up until he hit the final runs!”
The Tendulkar Century of Centuries collection is available at http://www.autographsoftheworld.com