Johannesburg: Suspended Gerald Majola, in his last official statement as Cricket South Africa chief, on Saturday paid glowing tributes to Sachin Tendulkar for scaling the historic feat of scoring 100 international centuries.
Tendulkar reached the landmark against hosts Bangladesh in an Asia Cup match at Mirpur on Friday.
"There isn't a cricketing fan in the world who hasn't been egging Sachin on to this landmark for the past year ever since he scored century No. 99 against the Proteas during last year's World Cup," Majola said in a statement.
The CSA board on Saturday suspended Majola with immediate effect, pending the establishment of a disciplinary inquiry into the bonus scandal related to the 2009 IPL, but the embattled cricket administrator did not forget to salute Tendulkar's achievement despite the turmoil.
"Scoring 100 centuries for your country is a momentous achievement and the fact that Ricky Ponting (71), our own Jacques Kallis (59) and Brian Lara (53) are the only other players to have made more than 50 international centuries puts it into a true perspective.
"Sachin has been the face of cricket for some two decades and what a wonderful role model he has become! He made his debut while our senior statesman, Nelson Mandela, was still in prison and the fact that he has always been present throughout our brief history since unity has made it easy for us to identify with him.
"The humble manner in which he celebrated this landmark was a true reflection of a model sporting personality," he said.
Majola was suspended after Mbalula had cautioned on Friday that if CSA did not act decisively on the report of the Nicholson inquiry that he had instituted, government would show them how to do it.
The Nicholson report made damning findings of Majola having breached his fiduciary duties after paying huge bonuses to himself and other CSA staff for the IPL 2 without informing the CSA board.