Melbourne, Oct 19: Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden, feels India's cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar doesn't deserve the honour after the Indian legend was being conferred with the prestigious 'Order of Australia'.
Matthew Hayden during an interview to an Australian radio show said that the award should be given to an Australian and not to any other citizen and said the Indian could have been made the Prime Minister of Australia as well, expressing his displeasure over the same.
"I think the honour should be exclusive to Australians. There are things that are sacred amongst our country. I understand the point that he is an iconic figure. If Sachin was living in Australia - give him the Prime Minister's gong I reckon - but the reality of it is he's living in India."
Ever since the news about Sachin Tendulkar's Australian honour was made public, it has led to a heated debate, as many Australians aren't in favour of Sachin being conferred with the prestigious award, as he is not an Australian.
Though the cricketer is an iconic figure and the measure was to bond the two countries, Australian cricketers and citizens have expressed their displeasure on this regard.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard, however defended her decision as she said, Sachin Tendulkar is admired in Australia as he is in India.
"At the start of this year it was my pleasure to host the Australian and Indian cricket teams at my Sydney residence. The summer was a celebration of the game and of the ties it has created between our two peoples," she said.
"And many Australians gathered for what could be their final sight of Sachin Tendulkar in Tests. Tendulkar is almost as widely admired in Australia as he is here in his homeland," she said.
"... we are delighted that he has accepted an honour from the Australian people, Member of the Order of Australia," she added.
Since the prestigious award is an order of chivalry to recognise Australian citizens and others for their achievements or for meritorious service, there is a lot of debate on the recent issue after the Prime Minister announced that Sachin Tendulkar will be honoured with the membership of 'Order of Australia'.
Tendulkar, will be awarded an AM, which is one of the six grades in teh Order of Australia, becomes the second Indian after former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, and also becomes the first sportsperson from India to get the honour.