Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar was today chosen for the
prestigious Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, making
him the first sportsperson to be bestowed with the honour.
40-year-old icon, who called time who retired from international career
today, was chosen for the top award soon after his farewell Test
against the West Indies ended in Mumbai.
brief statement issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson Venu Rajamony
said that 'President has awarded the Bharat Ratna to Tendulkar, who
retired from the International cricket today'.
Tendulkar bows out as the
most successful batsman in international cricket with 15,921 runs in 200
Tests. In his ODI career, which he needed last year, Tendulkar amassed
18,426 runs in 463 matches.
The award is a perfect
send-off gift to Tendulkar whose career spanned 24 years making him an
inspiration for an entire generation of cricketers.
Tendulkar, who became the first
active sportsperson to become a Rajya Sabha member last year, is being
given the honour along with Professor C N R Rao, the man behind India's
maiden Mars mission.
The Bharat Ratna is being conferred after a gap of years with classical vocalist Pandit Bhimsen Joshi being the last recipient.
Ratna is India's highest civilian award, given for performance of
highest order in any field of human endeavour. The award has been
conferred on 41 people till date.