The city-based ‘Blades of Glory’, touted as a one-of-a-kind museum in India, dedicated only to the sport of cricket, has been added to the online ‘Google Art and Culture’ platform. With this recognition on Thursday, cricket enthusiasts all over the world can now access a 360-degree view of the museum, the brainchild of Rohan Pate, a former U-19 Maharashtra cricket player. It features 30,000 items of cricket memorabilia in its collection.
Mr. Pate’s cricket museum now joins the ranks of elite museums like London’s Tate Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and the Uffizi in Florence. Google Arts and Culture is an online platform providing high resolution images of artworks housed in their partner museums.
“I feel extremely honoured and grateful that ‘Blades of Glory’ has been accredited by Google. This is a huge accolade and it will help fans around the world get acquainted with the museum,” Mr. Pate said. The museum, set up in 2012, was inaugurated by Sachin Tendulkar. Boasting the largest cricket-related collection in the world, it has special sections dedicated to the game’s superstars like Mr. Tendulkar and Virat Kohli.
Stating that the venture was never intended to be a money-making enterprise, Mr. Pate said his passion for the game was behind the idea of his museum dedicated to cricket. “When I first began, I had to wait 18 hours to get an autographed bat, but today, with the museum being better known, I can acquire cricket memorabilia more easily,” he said.
He recounted that in 2010, he happened to receive Mr. Tendulkar’s used bat, which triggered his love for collecting cricket-related items. “After we won the World Cup in 2011, I decided to tour different countries and collect signatures and articles. I remember visiting the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) museum in London and wondering why there wasn’t such a place in India. That is what inspired me to begin the museum. When I started out in 2012, I had about 600 items, but today, the museum houses over 30,000 articles,” he said.
His museum has been visited and appreciated by over 450 cricketers, including Vivian Richards, Clive Lloyd, Kapil Dev, Wasim Akram and Virendra Sehwag.
“I hope Google’s recognition will attract a new legion of cricket fanatics to visit the place. The 360-degree feature is of course a huge convenience for fans, but visiting the place in person is a different experience altogether. Seeing people feel motivated and emotional while touring ‘Blades of Glory’ gives me true joy and satisfaction,” Mr. Pate said.