India news February 4, 2014

Tendulkar receives Bharat Ratna

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar was conferred the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award, by the president Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday. Tendulkar, 40, is the first sportsperson, as well as the youngest person to receive the award. Speaking during the ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, Tendulkar said that though he had retired from the game, he would "continue to bat" for India in all spheres of life.

"It's the biggest honour for me and I am extremely delighted on receiving the Bharat Ratna," Tendulkar said. "I am extremely proud to be born in this beautiful nation and I would like to express my gratitude to all the love, affection and support I have received for number of years.

"My cricket has stopped, but I will continue to bat for India and try my best to give people of India a reason to smile," he said. "I would like to reiterate what I said a couple of months ago about this recognition and dedicate this to my mother and along with her, all the mothers in India who sacrifice their wishes, aspirations for their children so that their dreams come true."

Tendulkar, who retired from cricket on November 16, 2013 as the game's highest run-scorer in both Tests and ODIs, also saved praise for Professor CNR Rao, the other recipient of this year's Bharat Ratna.

"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."

India captain MS Dhoni, speaking before the first Test against New Zealand in Auckland, said Tendulkar thoroughly "deserved" the honour. "As a civilian, you cannot get a bigger honour than this. Definitely he deserves it.

"The way he has handled himself, not only on the field, off the field as well... Whenever we talk about him, we keep saying the same thing: ideal role model. The kind of pressure there is in Indian cricket, he handled it very well. The kind of performance he has given since the time he debuted was fantastic. An honour well deserved."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on February 6, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    @ noboundaries - Do a bit of research and you'll find out that he has repeatedly said "NO" to politics. It's just a hype created by the media - because any news on Tendulkar sells.

    I don't understand why you have an objection with Sachin Tendulkar receiving the Bharat Ratna when there have been singers and other artists who have been awarded with it. Tendulkar, surely, has made a lasting impact to ordinary Indians!

  • shan on February 5, 2014, 18:25 GMT

    Only in India this kind over adulation can happen. OK he was a special batsman, he received good accolade from world of sport and equally handsomely rewarded financially. To give Bharat Ratna ( which was given to the likes of Pandit Nehru) for sports person is really an overkill. Why people can't put these things into perspective I never know? There are scientists,medical people and voluntary workers make a lasting different to ordinary Indians. They don't get any recognition. Now he has entered into politics as well, as if India is short of politicians. These kind of hero worship becoming indian culture, what a pity.

  • Raj on February 5, 2014, 16:47 GMT

    Several Indian cricketers made impact but how Sachin impacted Indian cricket is truly different than others and his presence traversed more than cricket game itself. He deserves it.

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 15:15 GMT

    Greatest batsman ever....

  • Dummy4 on February 5, 2014, 9:58 GMT

    It's unfortunate that the real legend of the Indian/world sports - Dhyan Chand - still didn't get the Bharat Ratna award! In fact, he deserved it more than Sachin as he was a real match winner. He helped India to win three Olympic gold medals - in 1928, 1932, & 1936 - in the field hockey. And he scored over 1,000 goals in a career spanning 22 years (from 1926 to 1948)!

  • Udai on February 5, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    Well if he is the reason for making billions of heart happy, if he is the reason for dreaming about achieving what you want to, if he has shown people to live like a king size being as a little master, I would not be amazed with this award. When he has carried the hope of cricket lovers for so many cricketing years on his shoulders, its the best he has got now to put on his shoulder!!! Well done Sachin for making us Proud.

  • Praba on February 5, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    Congratz Mr.SRT Master Blaster my man, my role model Proudly i can say i am a fan of you. Thank u Master. Cricket miss u a lot. I am so lucky to see u playing once in my life.

  • Naresh on February 5, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    YOUNGSTERS - you have no better role model than Sachin. Strive for success just like the little master. A whole future awaits you.

  • Rahul on February 5, 2014, 6:14 GMT

    Heartily Congratulations to MR. Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar....My Role Model....He is the most deserving personality for this award..Be always a what you are and give us the reasons to feel proud and smile....

  • Amyn on February 5, 2014, 5:13 GMT

    Congrats to Sachin Tendulkar from Pakistani fan. Humble and down-to-earth personality. He is the role model for all youth and specially young cricketers on both sides of the border. Particularly, in this age when more 'talented' cricketers have serious attitude issues and they are negatively arrogant. Look at Sachin and develop your skills!!