Manama: Retired Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar may reportedly act as a mentor for the Mumbai Indians players during the seventh season of the Indian Premier League, set to begin in the UAE from April 16.
The speculation over Tendulkar's arrival as the 'icon' of his erstwhile Indian Premier League (IPL) team ended when he spent more than an hour with them during the final practice session before the season opener against Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday.
According to Gulf News, it is assumed that Tendulkar's role in the team will be more than an ornamental one with MI media manager Leeladhar Singh confirming that the former Indian batsman will be at the dugout for the team's matches as an icon of the team.
The report however, said that confusion set in over Tendulkar's exact role as Indian spin legend Anil Kumble had been the mentor of the team and there are restrictions in the IPL rule-book about presence in the dugouts.
Clad in a team practice shirt and blue shorts, the report mentioned that Tendulkar was as enthusiastic at the nets as in his playing days by correcting the follow-through of the drive of a number of batsmen, apart from giving them throwdowns, and he rounded off by bowling all conceivable variety of deliveries at the batsmen.
It was possibly Tendulkar's first public appearance with a cricket bat in hand since that emotional farewell after the Mumbai Test against the West Indies last November, the report added.