If you thought cricketers weren’t dark ‘enough’, think again.
Only for the most dedicated of fans, the “blood edition” of the Tendulkar Opus, which also includes unpublished family pictures and Tendulkar’s thoughts about his career, weighs 37kg, measures half a metre square and stretches to 852 pages edged in gold leaf, costing $75,000 (£49,000). Out next February, only 10 copies are being printed and they have all already been pre-ordered.
“The signature page will be mixed with Sachin’s blood – mixed into the paper pulp so it’s a red resin. It is what it is – you will have Sachin’s blood on the page,” said publisher Kraken Media’s chief executive Karl Fowler. “It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, it’s not to everyone’s taste and some may think it’s a bit weird. But the key thing here is that Sachin Tendulkar to millions of people is a religious icon. And we thought how, in a publishing form, can you get as close to your god as possible?”
As well as taking blood from the cricketer, Kraken asked for a sample of his saliva and used this to create his DNA profile, which will be printed on a two-metre gatefold in the book. “What you’ll be looking at is his genetic makeup,” said Fowler.
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 $2,000-$3,000 (£1,300-£1,900). Signed by Tendulkar, this edition will also be a half-metre square in size and will contain around 75% previously unpublished material about the cricketing star, as well as his DNA profile – but not his blood. It is also releasing a $200-$300 (£130-£190) smaller edition of the book.
“We’re publishing next February, in time for the cricket World Cup, which is being held in India. It’s perfect timing,” said Fowler. “He’s never done an autobiography before and has a great story to tell.”
Other titles out later this year from the luxury publisher include a book on major league baseball, one on Ferrari and one on Formula One. No plans to use blood in any of these have yet been revealed.