Chandigarh: The world may have feted him for becoming the only man to hit a century of centuries, but when it came to celebrating his 39th birthday, Sachin Tendulkar preferred to be with his wife and a few friends.
At a private party hosted by industrialist Rajiv Bali here Sunday night at his residence here, Sachin was almost looking shy as he cut the cake to ring in his birthday.
He wore a deep brown T-shirt with colourful butterfly motifs. His wife, Anjali, in a black ensemble, was with him and the couple shared the first bite of the cake. The cake itself was the figure of '100' - after all it was his first birthday after scoring hundred centuries in international cricket.
Sachin, who arrived here Sunday afternoon from Mumbai for his IPL team Mumbai Indians' match against Kings XI Punjab to be played here Wednesday, seemed relaxed at the party which had a select gathering, including some of his Mumbai Indians (MI) teammates.
Sachin obliged guests, including some children who were ready with their miniature and full-size cricket bats to get them autographed. Sachin agreed to pose for photographs for almost everyone who walked up to him for one.
"He was so nice to everyone. I had my photos clicked with him and even got his autograph," budding cricketer Adiraj Singh, 13, told IANS at the party.
In between the signing of cricket bats, autograph sheets and posing for pictures, Sachin could be seen chatting with friends, including his IPL teammates and former cricketer-turned-commentator Atul Wassan.
He could be seen pouring his drink, Laphroaig single malt with soda, at the bar.
"It's great to have Sachin over on this special day," host Bali told IANS.
Even past midnight, Sachin could be seen chatting separately with his MI teammates - perhaps finalising the strategy for Wednesday's match.