Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, who was conferred the Bharat Ratna here Tuesday, said though he has retired from all forms of cricket he will continue to bat for India and will give the country “a reason to smile”.
The cricketing legend was accompanied by his wife Anjali and daughter Sara as he received the award from President Pranab Mukherjee in a glittering ceremony at the Durbar Hall in Rashtrapati Bhavan. Eminent scientist Dr. C.N.R. Rao was also bestowed the Bharat Ratna.
“I am happy with the love and affection that I have got over the years. Fortunate to be born in this country. I know my cricket is over but I will continue to bat for India and will give the country a reason to smile,” said Tendulkar, who was nominated to the Rajya Sabha last year.
Tendulkar dedicated the honour to his mother and all mothers of the country, who have sacrificed their personal aspirations so that the dreams of their children are realised.
“This is the biggest honour. Extremely delighted at getting this award. I want to reiterate again that I want to dedicate this award to my mother and all other mothers of India, who sacrificed their aspirations so that their children’s dreams come true,” said Tendulkar.
Tendulkar is the most accomplished cricketer in the world, finishing his illustrious career with a fair clutch of records. He has 15,921 runs from a record 200 Test matches at an average of 53.58 and 51 centuries.
He scored 18,426 runs from 463 ODIs with an average of 44.83 including 49 centuries. He was also the first to score a double hundred in the 50-over format.
Tendulkar quit the one-day form of cricket in 2012 and Tests last year.