Controversies Mike Denness incident Main article: Mike Denness and Indian cricket team incident In India's 2001 tour of South Africa in the second test match between India and South Africa at St George's Park, Port Elizabeth match referee Mike Denness fined four Indian players for excessive appealing as well as the Indian captain Sourav Ganguly for not controlling his team. Tendulkar was given a suspended ban of one game by Mike Denness in light of alleged ball tampering. Television cameras picked up images that suggested Tendulkar may have been involved in cleaning the seam of the cricket ball. This can, under some conditions, amount to altering the condition of the ball. The match referee Mike Denness found Sachin Tendulkar guilty of ball tampering charges and handed him a one Test match ban. The incident escalated to include allegations of racism, and led to Mike Denness being barred from entering the venue of the third test match. The ICC revoked the status of the match as a Test as the teams rejected the appointed referee. The charges against Tendulkar and Sehwag's ban for excessive appealing triggered a massive backlash from the Indian public. Ferrari import tax In commemorating Tendulkar's feat of equalling Don Bradman's 29 centuries in Test Cricket, automotive giant Ferrari invited Tendulkar to its paddock in Silverstone on the eve of the British Grand Prix on 23 July 2002, to receive a Ferrari 360 Modena from the F1 world champion Michael Schumacher. On 4 September 2002 India's then finance minister Jaswant Singh wrote to Tendulkar telling him that the government will waive customs duty imposed on the car as a measure to applaud his feat. However the rules at the time stated that the customs duty can be waived only when receiving an automobile as a prize and not as a gift. It is claimed that the proposals to change the law (Customs Act) was put forth in Financial Bill in February 2003 and amended was passed as a law in May 2003. Subsequently the Ferrari was allowed to be brought to India without payment of the customs duty (INR1.13 crore (US$225,435) or 120% on the car value of INR75 lakh (US$149,600)). When the move to waive customs duty became public in July 2003, political and social activists protested the waiver and filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court. With the controversy snowballing, Fiat India agreed to pay the import duty. Fan following Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary, a fan of Tendulkar who earned the privilege of tickets to all of India's home games Tendulkar's entry into world cricket was hyped up by former Indian stars and those who had seen him play. Tendulkar's consistent performances earned him a fan following across the globe, including amongst Australian crowds, where Tendulkar has consistently scored centuries. One of the most popular sayings by his fans is "Cricket is my religion and Sachin is my God". Cricinfo mentions in his profile that "... Tendulkar remains, by a distance, the most worshipped cricketer in the world." During the Australian tour of India in 1998 Matthew Hayden said "I have seen God. He bats at no. 4 in India in Tests." There have been many instances when Sachin's fans have done extreme activities over Sachin's dismissal in the game. As per reports by many Indian newspapers, a person hanged himself being distressed over Sachin's failure to reach 100th century. Some analysts have found that Sachin is the greatest ever cricketer in the world surpassing Don Bradman. At home in Mumbai, Tendulkar's fan following has caused him to lead a different lifestyle. Ian Chappell has said that he would be unable to cope with the lifestyle Tendulkar was forced to lead, having to "wear a wig and go out and watch a movie only at night". In an interview with Tim Sheridan, Tendulkar admitted that he sometimes went for quiet drives in the streets of Mumbai late at night when he would be able to enjoy some peace and silence. Tendulkar has a presence in the popular social networking site Twitter with the user name sachin_rt since May 2010. Business interests Tendulkar's immense popularity has led him to be an early pioneer in India on cricket business dealings when he signed a record sports management deal with Worldtel in 1995, the value of the deal being INR30 crore (US$5.99 million) over five years. His next contract with WorldTel in 2001 was valued at INR80 crore (US$15.96 million) over five years. In 2006, he signed a contract with Saatchi and Saatchi's ICONIX values at INR180 crore (US$35.91 million) over three years. Tendulkar has opened two restaurants: Tendulkar's (Colaba, Mumbai) and Sachin's (Mulund, Mumbai) and Bangalore. Sachin owns these restaurants in partnership with Sanjay Narang of Mars Restaurants. In 2007, Tendulkar also announced a JV with the Future Group and Manipal Group to launch healthcare and sports fitness products under the brand name 'S Drive and Sach'. A series of comic books by Virgin Comics is also due to be published featuring him as a superhero. Commercial endorsements Sachin Tendulkar has been sponsored by several brands throughout his career including Boost (1990–present), Pepsi (1992–2009), Action Shoes (1995–2000), MRF (1999–2009), Adidas (2000– 10), Britannia (2001–07), Fiat Palio (2001–03), TVS (2002– 05), ESPN Star Sports (2002–present), Sunfeast (2007–13), Canon (2006–09), Airtel (2004–06), Reynolds (2007– present), G-Hanz (2005–07), Sanyo BPL (2007–present), Toshiba (2010–present), Colgate-Palmolive, Philips, VISA, Castrol India (2011–12), Ujala Techno Bright and Coca-Cola (2011–13) He has also been a spokesperson for National Egg Coordination Committee (2003–05), AIDS Awareness Campaign (2005) and Luminous India (2010–present) Political career In April 2012, Tendulkar accepted the Rajya Sabha nomination proposed by the president. He is the first active sportsperson and cricketer to have been nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Reactions to this decision included: Sanjay Manjrekar who said that he was "actually shocked by the story itself, first by the nomination as it came without any warning. And that Sachin has accepted it is even more shocking. When I visualise what Sachin could possibly do after retirement, I thought something connected to cricket, coaching and all that, may be some business or social activity. But Rajya Sabha MP after retirement or even at this stage of career is something that was not even in my wildest guess." MP and former cricketer Kirti Azad said that the move was akin to an honourary degree on an eminent person and said that "Why should he not be successful? Unlike a Lok Sabha MP, he does not have to worry about his constituency and he could focus on the topics related to sports. I’m confident he will do a good job." Former Indian captain Dilip Vengsarkar reacted in saying that "so far, they were nominating persons from other fields. Now that a sportsman has been nominated to the Rajya Sabha, a good precedent has been set." DNA questioned if Tendulkar could handle the political system and was aware of the issues, though it also said that he has now outlined in partisan politics in choosing a party after the nomination followed a visit to the head of the Indian National Congress' residence in New Delhi at the behest of party MP Sanjay Nirupam. The nomination was also made by the president, who is a member of the INC, in the same year as she faces re-election. Actor Sanjay Dutt, who had also tried to become a MP, said that "it is an honour to be in the Rajya sabha. I am a fan of Sachin. He is the pride and jewel of India. But, I am not happy that he is a Rajya Sabha member. He should have been the way he is." He was also said to have the support of Amitabh Bacchan. His decision to be a MP was also criticised in some quarters: Former Indian captain Ajit Wadekar said that "hope[s Tendulkar] does not suffer the same fate as another legend, Amitabh Bachchan, politics is a big game. He had only said he is not going to retire soon. But, my fear is how will he divide his time and responsibilities." Former member of the Indian 1983 Cricket World Cup team Madan Lal was also surprised, saying that "the kind of person Sachin is, we never expected him to take up politics." The Maharashtrian party Shiv Sena's MP Sanjay Raut questioned the timing and asked "is Sachin being used to divert attention from the problems plaguing the Congress?" The Communist Party of India's Gurudas Dasgupta sad that "I welcome the decision to nominate Tendulkar, but at the same time when Sourav is in his top form, his name, too, should have been considered." His current colleague Harbhajan Singh said that he was "proud that Sachin is getting the honour. He deserves much more than that. May God bless him always." Anti-corruption campaigner Baba Ramdev said that the INC was using the nomination and Tendulkar's stature to boost its battered image through series of scandals and electoral defeats. Five-time World Chess Champion, Viswanathan Anand said "I hope he (Tendulkar) enjoys his role and he is able to do it very well. It's a big step for him and I think he will enjoy it".  Former Indian football captain Baichung Bhutia reacted neutrally saying a nomination of a sports candidate was a personal choice to accept. On 2 May, Tendulkar was elected to seat number 103 in the Rajya Sabha. He took the oath as a member of the Rajya Sabha on 4 June; however he could not take the oath during the budget session due to the ongoing IPL. "Cricket comes first," Tendulkar said when reporters asked whether he preferred cricket to parliament. Sachin Tendulkar had been alloted 5 Tughlak Lane bungalow, a type VII accommodation in Lutyen's zone in New Delhi. The accomodation was just opposite to that of Rahul Gandhi's residence. However, he has politely turned down the offer.
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