There were unforgettable scenes last night as the Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar hosted a special event at the Opus Store, Covent Garden, to announce the first stage in an exciting new partnership with Opus: the forthcoming Tendulkar Opus and the launch of

Surprise for the guests

And the ‘Little Master’ had a big surprise in store for the world’s journalists, photographers, TV crews and invited guests from around the world. There were gasps of amazement as he became the first sportsman ever to give a DNA sample in a live press conference!

A qualified nurse was on hand to take the mouthswab sample and Sachin smiled and joked throughout the surreal spectacle. Using rare DNA technology, the sample will be used to create a stunning two-metre wide multicoloured artwork in the Opus that will – quite literally – show the make-up of a sporting genius.

“We are always trying to give the insider angle on the subjects of our Opuses,” explained Tendulkar Opus editor Justyn Barnes. “This time, with Sachin’s help, we’re just taking it to another level. We weren’t sure how Sachin would react to the idea, but he thought it was a fun concept and was really up for it. And the resulting artwork will be spectacular.”

The Tendulkar Opus

During the event, Sachin also signed the first ten signature sheets for his limited edition Opus. Weighing in at over 30 kilos, 800 pages in length, with each page measuring half a metre square, the Tendulkar Opus will contain exclusive photo shoots and special features with Sachin (and many other famous cricket personalities) among the 1,000 images and 150,000 words.

Previously unpublished family pictures, rare memorabilia and action shots chosen by Sachin himself and complemented by his own reminiscences will ensure this Opus is the definitive work on the record-breaking batsman.

It will also be one of the first Opus editions to incorporate state-of-the-art ‘augmented reality’ technology as part of its content.

Tendulkar declared himself honoured to be the only cricketer to be chosen as the subject of Opus, saying, “I can’t think of a better way of displaying my life and career than in an Opus.”

A new website

Tendulkar’s legions of fans can follow the making of his Opus every step of the way at where they can access exclusive preview material, on-location footage, behind-the-scenes stories and pictures. Also featuring insider news on Sachin, exclusive interviews, candid photos and videos, kids’ section, interactive features, plus competitions to win signed memorabilia, is set to become the first port of call for millions of Tendulkar admirers around the world. will go live on June 18, 2009, but people can register now to be automatically entered into a prize draw to win an item personally signed by Sachin Tendulkar every day until the launch date. The sooner you register, the more chance you have to win.

Video of the event

View video highlights of yesterday’s event, broadcast live from the Opus Store in Covent Garden, at the Opus channels on YouTube and ustream