New Delhi: Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday said that he will “continue to bat for India” in all spheres of life, in his endeavour to bring a smile on the face of the common people.
“I will continue to bat for India even though my cricket has stopped. I will continue to bat for India and try my best to give people of India a reason to smile,” Tendulkar told reporters after being conferred the Bharat Ratna by the President Pranab Mukherjee here.
“It’s the biggest honour for me and I am extremely delighted on receiving the Bharat Ratna,” he said. “I am extremely proud to be born in this beautiful nation and I would like to express my gratitude for all the love, affection and support I have received for a number of years.”
Tendulkar, 40, and eminent scientist Prof CNR Rao were presented the Bharat Ratna at a brief function at Rashtrapati Bhavan’s Durbar Hall, attended by Vice President Hamid Ansari, union ministers, Sachin’s wife Anjali, daughter Sara, and a host of dignitaries.
Tendulkar, who retired from international cricket on November 16 last year, is the first sportsman to be bestowed with the honour. “I would like to reiterate what I said a couple of months ago that this recognition, this award, I would like to dedicate to my mother. And along with her to all the mothers in India who sacrifice their wishes and aspirations for their children so that their dreams come true,” Tendulkar said.
He also congratulated Prof. Rao for motivating youngsters to become scientists.
“I would like to congratulate Prof CNR Rao for the Bharat Ratna. He has been instrumental in motivating and inspiring youth of India to become scientists. I wish him all the happiness and good health.”
Union minister and Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association president Farooq Abdullah said conferring Bharat Ratna to Sachin was a big day for cricket.
“It is a big day for cricket. Today big people including one top scientist and another Sachin Tendulkar are getting Bharat Ratna,” Abdullah told reporters. “It is a big thing for Indian cricket, because he made India shine in the world of cricket.” (PTI)