Mumbai, Nov 6: India batsman Sachin Tendulkar, on Tuesday, was honoured with the membership of Order of Australia (AM). He was conferred the honour by Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government, Simon Crean, at a function here.
Tendulkar became only the second Indian after former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee to receive Order of Australia honour. Other cricketers to receive Order of Australia honour are Brian Lara, Clive Lloyd and Sir Garfield Sobers.
Accepting the honour, Tendulkar recalled his visits to Australia and said away from India, his favourite ground is Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Tendulkar was presented with the AM medal by Crean.
Crean said they were honouring Tendulkar for not only what he had done on the field but off it as well.
"As the first batsman in international history to score 100 hundreds earlier this year Sachin Tendulkar's record is second to none. Today we are honouring not just what he has done on the field of play, but also what he has done off it. Along with his cricketing prowess, Sachin has contributed substantially to philanthropy and supports a range of charitable causes as well as sponsoring over 200 underprivileged children each year," Crean was quoted as saying in Australian media.
The Order of Australia, instituted by Her Majesty The Queen on 14 February 1975, was established as "an Australian society of honour for the purpose of according recognition to Australian citizens and other persons for achievement or for meritorious service", according to official website.
The website states that persons can be honoured in General Division on the initiative of the Prime Minister. "Australian citizens, including members of the Australian Defence Force, are eligible to receive awards in the General Division. Persons other than Australian citizens may receive honorary awards in the Order; honorary awards are rare and are made on the initiative of the Prime Minister."
During her visit to India last month, Australia Prime Minister Juila Gillard had announced that Tendulkar would be honoured with Order of Australia. However, the move drew criticism from some quarters in Australia including former Test batsman Matthew Hayden.