September 3, 2010

Indian cricket

Tendulkar takes to the skies

Nitin Sundar
Sachin Tendulkar being conferred with the honorary post of Indian Air Force Group Captain, New Delhi, Spetember 3, 2010
Aiming for the sky: Sachin Tendulkar  © AFP


There aren’t many recognitions that have eluded India’s favourite sporting hero during the course of his high-flying career, and now he has made another addition to that list. Sachin Tendulkar has become the first sportsman to be conferred with the honorary rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force (IAF).

“I'm extremely proud to be a part of IAF,” said Tendulkar, who lauded the Air Force’s commitment, concentration and dedication, during his induction ceremony. “All that I can do to come as close as looking like an air warrior, is wear my Aviator sunglasses.”

Tendulkar recalled his previous experience on a fighter plane - a ride on the Italian-made Aermacchi MB-326 'Impalla' military jet in South Africa - and hoped to relive that memory by flying in a combat jet. Indications are that he will not have to wait for long – Air Chief Marshal P V Naik, who welcomed Tendulkar into the force, said he was scheduling a training flight on a Sukhoi jet for Tendulkar to ‘earn his wings’.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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