TO billions the world over he is the greatest batsman that ever lived.
To Preston academic Professor Boria Majumdar Sachin Tendulkar is a “witty, funny man, an incredible foodie” and a gentleman on and off the field.
The University of Central Lancashire research fellow has spent the past three and a half years ghost writing an autobiography for the Indian cricketer, widely acclaimed as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.
The book had sold more than 150,000 copies in pre-orders ahead of it’s launch on November 6 - beating both pre-orders and lifetime sales of hardbacks including Dan Brown’s Inferno, and JK Rowlings Casual Vacancy.
Sales have already topped 250,000
Prof Majumdar is a senior research fellow in the School of sport, tourism and the outdoors at UCLan. He is a celebrated cricket historian, author and sports commentator and became good friends while Boria was doing a doctorate at Oxford University.
The Rhodes scholar said the cricketing legend contributed inadvertently to his dissertation on the social history of Indian cricket.
The pair became friends and Boria followed the cricketer around the world.
Boria said: “For the last 10 years we have been friends and the idea came to me in 2010/11 about doing his autobiography.”
Although there was no time scale, he wanted to make sure it was done before the idol retired and said that because of the work he was doing as a commentator and writer he was able to follow the cricketer around the world.
He said: “Sachin Tendulkar is a global superstar. Being able to tell his incredible story to his legions of fans was an honour. The sales records we’ve broken are a testament to the man. He has changed cricket for the better and had a profound impact on Indian culture.
“Boria said: “I spent three years and have 135 hours of tape - there are 150,000 words and more than 500 pages in the book, and I could have written more.”
He added: “It has been a long, long, long journey but I have loved it, absolutely.
“To most people he ( Tendulkar) is a quiet, introvert but when you break down the barriers he is a very interesting person of great wit, funny and a tremendous foodie. An incredible person.”
However, the hardest part for Boria was making sure the words he wrote reflected the man he was ghosting and were written in such a way that the book would be easily understood by the masses.
As an academic he has received numerous accolades for his tomes but added: “I had to make sure it was simple and jargon free. While I was writing I had to shut myself into the zone. It was hard to write in a way that was accessible to the masses. At the same time it was a challenge.”
He added that bosses at UCLan were “terrific” offering him support and time to work on the project and he paid tribute tot he “great respect” he had for the university.
Boria is currently investigating the impact of mega events on host cities.