KARACHI: Former cricketing greats and fans in Pakistan paid tribute Saturday to Indian batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar after he became the first player ever to score 100 international centuries.
"It is a great achievement which other players of his era and those who come after him will not even think of achieving," former Pakistan captain Javed Miandad told AFP, who featured in Tendulkar's first Test in Karachi in 1989.
"When he played against us in 1989 he showed glimpses of what was in store for world cricket and the kind of sincerity he has shown with the game has only made him immortal and prolonged his career to 23 years and he can still go on."
Miandad hailed the father of two, known variously as the "Little Master" or "Bombay Blaster", as a role model for the cricketing world.
"I congratulate Tendulkar on this rare feat and advise the future generation of players, wherever they live and wherever they play, to just follow Tendulkar's focus, dedication and hunger for success."
Another former Pakistan captain Moin Khan, who played against Tendulkar from 1992-2004, also joined the chorus of praise.
"He has achieved something which will be tough to match. He has been a trend-setter and if players try to emulate him we will get more and more great players, but his records will be tough to erase.
"Tendulkar's speciality is that he is very very professional, he loves the game and lusts for runs. With no controversy in his career he has been a role model to follow for future cricketers," said Moin.
"I would call him the Kohi-noor (a famous diamond) of world cricket," said former leg-spinner Abdul Qadir, who played in Tendulkar's first Test series.
"Great players are not those who do great achievements but those who, with their great character on and off the field, become role models. And Tendulkar is a role model."
Fans in the street also acknowledged Tendulkar's feat.
"Tendulkar is also adored in Pakistan and we are happy at his achievement. We are happy that he has not hit his 100th hundred against Pakistan," said Babar Khan, a local resident. AGENCIES