Kolkata, Apr 24 (IANS): As his effervescent attitude betrayed his age, master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who turned 40 Wednesday, celebrated the occasion here with a wish to personally meet and thank his fans for their "unconditional love".
"Let me take this opportunity to thank all the people in India and all across the world, the well-wishers of mine, who have supported me and showered their unconditional love over the last 23 years," said Tendulkar as he cut a birthday cake at a ceremony at the ITC Sonar hotel here.
"It's been really special, because of their good wishes and prayers, I am here in front of you after 23 years."
Tendulkar had made his international debut against Pakistan in November 1989.
The ace batsman looked smash in an ash shirt and black trousers while cutting a 5-kg oval chocolate cake resembling a stadium, accompanied by his wife Anjali.
"I thought this was the best opportunity to thank each and everyone of them for making various sacrifices like fasting and all those kind of things when I was injured."
"Just want to say thank you, which I feel is not enough. I would personally like to meet them and thank them personally, but it's not possible. So, I thought this is the best forum where I could reach out to most of them," he said.
The cricketer admitted to being "tense" while celebrating his birthday in front of dozens of media persons, and said Anil Kumble reassured him not to worry as "40 is only a number".