An icon, no doubt. Photo: IPL

With a smile that has won a million hearts, stroke play that can draw applause even from the roughest of opponents and an ever enthusiastic cricketing mind, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar holds unmatchable records, marked in the memories of every single Indian cricket fan. And he has now been named Mumbai Indians' icon for IPL 7, after a successful stint with the franchise.

MI are the reigning IPL champions and two-time Champions League winners, and will be banking largely on Tendulkar's experience in the seasons to follow as they have done so far.

"Sachin has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians and a source of inspiration for the team ever since the inception," Nita Ambani was quoted as saying, on the official IPL website. "It was a fitting finale for Sachin last season, when we dedicated the IPL as well as CLT20 trophies to the legend.

"We are very happy to recognize him as the Mumbai Indians icon. I am sure the youngsters in the team will be delighted to have him around for guidance, and so would be the Mumbai Indians fans."

The Master Blaster has captured imaginations of the entire nation throughout his career. IPL was only a feather in the packed cap. He has scored one century and thirteen half-centuries for the Mumbai Indians and will now help younger players to develop their game.

"This season with Mumbai Indians will be a different experience for me and I look forward to closely interacting with the experienced support staff and sharing my learnings with the exciting youngsters in the team," Tendulkar said.

The legendary batsman will also closely work with a social cause initiated by the franchise, called 'Education For All'. "Mumbai Indians was one of the first teams to recognize the potential of using its worldwide fan-base to enhance awareness about a compelling social issue," Tendulkar said. " I am committed to working with the team at Mumbai Indians in spreading the message of 'Education for All' across the country and beyond."

(Ed: VP)