If you are a cricket addict and love checking out cricket memorabilia than here is a chance for you to get a selfie with the historic mementos.
For cricket fanatics, Blades of Glory could be a cool destination. It’s India’s only museum dedicated to cricket. Inaugurated by Tendulkar in May 2012, it is becoming a popular halt among the destinations that visitors stop by.
“I saw cricket museums in England and Australia and wondered, ‘What about one in India?’. It was like there being no temple for what we call religion. I told myself that I must do it. It’s a great way to keep history alive,” said Rohan Pate, a Pune-based real estate businessman, whose brainchild the museum is, consisting of his own collection.×
The 30-year-old has collected equipment from players of almost all countries. Many, like the bat used by Tendulkar for his 50th Test century, Shane Warne’s debut shirt, or Virender Sehwag’s bat used for his triple century, are of historical relevance.
The place is spread over 4,000 square feet. About 600-odd of Pate’s total haul of 10,000-plus items can be exhibited at a time for want of space.
You will find the bats used by Viv Richards and Javed Miandad, and balls signed by bowlers with 300 or more wickets in Test and one-day cricket. Geoffrey Boycott’s coloured pads, the late Malcolm Marshall’s pink WSC shirt and stuff used by Jacques Kallis — the collection tries to cover continents and generations.
Blades of Glory has tied up with Pune Darshan. It also invites school kids for programmes like cricket quizzes where autographed balls are sometimes given away as awards.
For other visitors, it charges Rs 50 per head, and is open 365 days with a curator and guides.
“This place gives you an idea how innovative an individual can be in expressing his interest in cricket. It’s not just about Indian cricket. Cricketers from all countries are represented here. Having been here for four years, I wish I had come earlier,” said RM Selanathan, a Tamilian working in Pune.
With the Pune Darshan party crowding the place on Monday afternoon, two foreigners arrived quietly and one asked the other to take snaps of his with bats signed by the 1975 and 1979 World Cup-winning West Indies teams. Son of late commentator Tony Cozier, Craig is a producer in the broadcast team. Blades of Glory going on air may be on the cards.