East India Company Launches Coin To Honour Tendulkar

The East India Company has issued a legal tender coin in honour of Sachin Tendulkar's 200th and final Test and his remarkable career in the game.

Tendulkar played 200 Tests, becoming the first man to score 100 international centuries and hit more runs than any other player in Tests (15,837) and One-Day Internationals (18,426).

As a youngster, Tendulkar's coach used to put a rupee on the stumps and challenge him to remove the coin by hitting the stumps.

To celebrate the launch of the coins minted in his honour, Tendulkar headed to a club in London, where he put one of the coins onto a stump and issued the same challenge to some of the youngsters.

"When I was a kid, my cricket coach used to put Rupees on the stumps and challenge me to bowl them off," he said.

"They were only Rupees, but worth more than all the money in the world to me."

Tendulkar now joins fellow 'sporting icons' such as Mohammad Ali and Nigel Mansell, who are among the few to have been honoured with the issue of a legal tender coin.

The coin design has been hand crafted by Joaquin Jimenez, one of the world's most renowned coin designers.

It features a the latitude lines of the globe modelled in cricket stitching to represent the international game and the gateway of India to represent his home city of Mumbai - where he started and ended his career.

Tendulkar, his 200th Test and the number 187 (which he wore during his final match) are also represented.

The coin is valued at £12,000 and has been double struck in 24 carat gold and finished to the highest standard. Only 210 gold coins, each weighing exactly 200 grammes are being issued making these a real collectors' item.

Each coin will be supplied with a presentation box accompanied by an individually numbered and signed certificate of authenticity and a cricket bat signed by Tendulkar.

"All my life, I have had a dream of playing cricket for India," Tendulkar said.

"I am very fortunate to have lived this dream for the last 24 years.

"I am honoured to be recognised with the issue of these special coins, which have been impressively designed with a lot of thought."

Sanjiv Mehta, CEO of the East India Company, added: "Historically precious metal formed an important part of The Company’s trading activities.

"We have been issuing our own gold and silver coins for centuries and began to do so again in 2010.

EIC originally introduced Cricket to the Commonwealth, then the British Empire, and it made immense sense for us to issue a coin for this special occasion.

"We feel honoured to have been given the opportunity to pay tribute to one of the Greatest Cricket Players of all time."

© Cricket World 2014