London: UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Sunday called for British Empire honours for leading cricketers from India and other Commonwealth countries.
The move could lead to OBEs, CBEs or knighthoods for the likes of Sunny Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Kapil Dev.
Brown's remarks, during his visit to India, come after India registered a path-breaking Test win against Aussies in Perth.
"I congratulate India on a famous victory, beating Australia in their backyard," he said.
"Cricket is one of the great things that bind the Commonwealth together, a shared passion over five continents. It used to be the case that great cricketers from the Commonwealth would be recognised by the British nation through the honours system. I believe it was a good system. We are nations of good sports. I would like to see some of the great players in the modern era honoured.
"I propose honorary awards so the British nation can salute their achievements in one of our national sports. Obviously it is a matter for the honours committee, but I hope they will consider it," he said.
The prime minister also said he also supported giving honorary awards to foreign footballers who have contributed to the success of the Premiership, putting people like Dennis Bergkamp in the frame.
Viv Richards, who was knighted in 1999, Richard Hadlee, knighted in 1990, and Gary Sobers (1975), are among players from the more recent past from Commonwealth countries to receive knighthoods, joining Donald Bradman (1949) and Leire Constantine (1950s).
The Brown plan could be extended to other players who have enjoyed beating England for most of their careers, such as Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Steve Waugh and Allan Border, although the two latter are already officers of the Order of Australia, in 2003 and 1989 respectively.