Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has revealed that before making his international debut for his country, he took the field for Pakistan in a fixture between the teams of the two neighbouring states.
The batting great, in his autobiography, Playing It My Way, recollected taking the field for Pakistan in 1987 – two years before his India debut in 1989.
It is a well-documented fact that Tendulkar made his official international debut against arch-rivals Pakistan in 1989 in Karachi, but very few people are aware of the fact that he got his first taste of international cricket when he fielded for Pakistan in a match against India at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai.
In his book, he also wondered whether the then-Pakistan captain, Imran Khan, remembers employing him in the field.
"I don't know whether Imran Khan remembers this or has any idea that I once fielded for his Pakistan team," writes Tendulkar in an excerpt quoted by zeenews.india.com.
The Master Blaster further recalled that Pakistan cricketers Javed Miandad and Abdul Qadir had left the field during the lunch break. As the standby fielder, Tendulkar was asked to field for the visiting team.
Tendulkar also mentioned how he nearly caught out Kapil Dev in the match but could not get to the ball despite running a long way. He explained that if he had been placed at mid-on rather than long-on, he could have taken part in the dismissal for Pakistan.
Tendulkar is the highest run-scorer ever in Test matches and one-day internationals. He retired in 2013.