Sachin Man of the tournament in WC 2003
Sachin way above
India's superstar Sachin Tendulkar has been named the player of the World Cup even before Sunday's final against defending champions Australia at the Wanderers here.
The 29-year-old ensured the honour would be his after taking an unassailable lead in the voting system by which the match referee for each of the 51 games so far awarded three points for the best player, two for the second and one for the third.
Tendulkar, who has scored a record 669 runs in this tournament going into the final, secured 14 points, four more than his own captain Saurav Ganguly and five more than Sri Lanka's Chaminda Vaas.
Tendulkar will be awarded a gold trophy worth 500,000 rand (62,500 dollars) in a post-match ceremony by the legendary West Indian Garfield Sobers, widely acclaimed as the best cricketer ever.
Tendulkar, a multi-millionaire, has already won three gold watches so far in the tournament which are awarded for the man of the match.
World Cup supremo Ali Bacher said the Indian star fully deserved the honour.
"We wanted this to be the best World Cup ever, and Sachin's brilliant batting has helped the tournament captivate many millions of people around the cricketing world," Bacher said.
"He thoroughly deserves this accolade "
Tendulkar, one-day cricket's most successful batsman with over 12,000 runs and 34 centuries, said before the tournament that winning the World Cup was more important for him then any personal landmarks.