CRICKET legend Sachin Tendulkar arrived in Bahrain last night to attend the Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
A guest of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, he is accompanied by his wife Anjali and close friends.
Dadabhai Group chairman Mohammed Dadabhai, along with officials of the Crown Prince's Court, welcomed guests during a brief reception at the Bahrain International Airport's VIP Terminal.
Tendulkar, 41, who is a member of the Rajya Sabha, India's upper house of parliament, was recently conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
He retired from all forms of international cricket in November last year after an international career spanning 24 years, having played his 200th Test match.
He is the only player to complete more than 30,000 runs in international cricket and the 16th player and first Indian to aggregate 50,000 runs or more in all forms of domestic and internationally recognised cricket.
Bahrain International Circuit (BIC) Press officer Mohamed Shareeda earlier said officials were "tremendously honoured" to have the cricketer at Bahrain's F1 race.
Tendulkar's love for F1 is not new.
It was none other than seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher who handed over to him the keys of a Ferrari for equalling Don Bradman's record of 29 hundreds in 2002.
"I am very happy to be in Bahrain," Mr Tendulkar told the GDN.
"I have been hearing about Bahrain for a very long time now and I am honoured at being invited for the Formula One.
"I am looking forward to being at the BIC and enjoying the race for the next two days."
Sachin will leave for Mumbai after the race finale tomorrow.