Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar on Wednesday unveiled Raj Singh Dungarpur's portrait at the Cricket Club of India (CCI) in Mumbai and recalled his long association with the late cricket administrator.
"It's an emotional moment for me. I was associated with Rajbhai for a long time and today it gives me immense pleasure to see Rajbhai's portrait here," said the champion batsman after unveiling Dungarpur's portrait at the main hall of the CCI.
Tendulkar also recalled with gratitude all the help he had received as a young boy from Dungarpur in fulfilling his dream of playing for the country.
"I was very close to him from my school days and he was among those instrumental for giving me the opportunity to play for the country. You may have talent but it needs the right platform and Rajbhai was instrumental in providing it," said Tendulkar.
It was under Dungarpur's stint as the chief selector that Tendulkar was chosen for the first time to play for India as a member of the team that toured Pakistan in 1989.
The batting great also remembered that Dungarpur was instrumental in sending him to England in 1986 with the Star Cricket Club managed by former Rajasthan pacer Kailash Gattani.
He also rued that when Test cricket returned to the Brabourne Stadium owned by CCI after a long gap, Dungarpur was not alive to see his dream come true.
"It was his dream that Test cricket returned to CCI. We played a Test against Sri Lanka here [in December last year] but unfortunately Rajbhai had passed away. But I'm sure he would have watched us play from somewhere," Tendulkar said.
"I feel even as I speak Rajbhai is watching us," he added with emotion.
Later, he and former India Test opener and coach Anshuman Gaekwad garlanded Dungarpur's portrait.