New Delhi, Oct 17: Sachin Tendulkar was elated after it was announced that he will be conferred with the Membership of the Order of Australia and hoped it would further "cement the bond" between the two countries.
"I indeed feel privileged and honoured at receiving this recognition," Tendulkar said from South Africa where he is representing Mumbai Indians in the ongoing Champions League Twenty20 tournament.
"I hope that this honour will further cement the bond between the two countries, we both share a unique love for cricket," he added.
Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard made the announcement today while visiting a cricket clinic here and said Tendulkar would receive the honour from Simon Crean, Minister for Arts and Regional Australia, when he visits India.
"As an Indian cricketer, I have always enjoyed playing against and in Australia and feel it is one of the great cricketing rivalries, which is pivotal to the health of our game.
"I have always received tremendous affection from the Australian cricket fans. Once again my heartfelt thanks to the Australian government for this recognition and for considering me worthy of this rare honour," Tendulkar said.
The 'Order of Australia' is an order of chivalry to recognise Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service. The 39-year-old Tendulkar will be awarded an AM, which is one of the six grades in the Order of Australia. Tendulkar will be the first non-Australian cricketer to be made an honorary member of the Order of Australia since Brian Lara, who was given the award in 2009.