It seemed bizzare at first but former players are now lauding Sachin Tendulkar for allowing his blood to be used on the signature page of an autobiography since it's all for charity.
The London-based publishers of the autobiography 'Tendulkar Opus' will come out with a "blood edition" of the book, which will have never-seen-before pictures of the iconic batsman's family, in February next year to coincide with the World Cup in the sub-continent.
The 852-page book edged in gold leaf, will be sold at a whopping USD 75,000. Only 10 copies of the book, which will weigh 37kg and measure half a metre square, will come out.
The thought of Tendulkar's blood on a book's page was wierd to start with but as it trickled out that the proceeds will go to a charity, there was only praise for the batsman.
"There is a good cause behind it. The money earned through it will be used for charity. Sachin wants to build a school for the children from his charitable organisation. It's a good cause. I don't think it's being done for commercial reasons or for publicity," former batsman and Tendulkar's close pal Vinod Kambli said.
"I was shocked initially (after hearing that Sachin's blood and DNA would be used in the book). An autobiography is generally about yourself. It must be a family decision. Hats off to Sachin for taking this decision," he said.
Kambli said he is curious about what the book has to offer in terms of insight into Tendulkar's life.
"Sachin is a very private person (to do this sort of a thing). This will be a rare opportunity for his fans to know more about him. The book will be priceless for them.
"The fans will be very curious to know what the book has to offer. I'm myself curious to know about the book. I would like to ask Sachin about it when he returns from Sri Lanka. The book is likely to contain mention of many incidents about Sachin's life which are unknown to me," he said.
Former captain Ajit Wadekar said Tendulkar has set an example for others by giving his blood for a good cause.
"(It was for charity) otherwise Sachin wouldn't have agreed to it. He has been helping people otherwise too without letting others know. He is giving his blood for a good cause, others should emulate him," he said.
"Generally, we hear about paintings fetching Rs two crore. This book will fetch more and more money as it will become antique. The book will be something very rare (because of the use of Sachin's blood)," he added.
Former Team India manager Lalchand Rajput refused to react on the use of blood but said the book would be a rare piece of work.
"Sachin's autobiography will be like an encyclopedia to read. Whatever Tendulkar writes will be a treat to read. Such rare books should be kept in public libraries for public viewing," he said.
Forner wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani said he would react only if Tendulkar himself confirms that his blood has been used in the book.
"If Sachin's blood is used, he should come out and say it in open to prove it is genuine. Only then I will comment," he said.
The publishers, Kraken Media, are themseleves tightlipped on the matter.
"We don't want to say anything at the moment. Please be in touch with us, we will come out with a statement in February," a spokesman from Kraken Media told PTI from London.
Apart from his blood, Tendulkar has also given a sample of his saliva which would be used to create his DNA profile and would be printed on a two-metre gatefold in the book.
All proceeds from the sale of the 10 copies will go to Tendulkar's charitable foundation to help build a school in Mumbai.
Kraken will also publish around 1,000 copies of a cheaper edition of the autobiography at USD 2,000-3,000.
Signed by Tendulkar, this edition will also be half-metre square in size and will contain around 75 per cent previously unpublished material about the cricketing star, as well as his DNA profile - but not his blood.
Kraken Media will also release a USD 200-300 smaller edition of the book