Mumbai, Nov 16: On a day when he retired from international cricket, Sachin Tendulkar was chosen to be conferred with Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour.
Tendulkar is the first sportsperson to be chosen for the award. On Saturday afternoon, it was announced by the Prime Minister's Office that Tendulkar was chosen for Bharat Ratna.
In a press release, PMO said: "The Government has decided to confer, the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award on eminent scientist Prof C.N.R.Rao and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar."
"Shri Sachin Tendulkar is undoubtedly an outstanding cricketer - a living legend who has inspired millions across the globe. During the last 24 years, since the young age of 16 years, Shri Tendulkar has played cricket across the world and won laurels for our country," the release said.
"He has been a true ambassador of India in the world of sports. His achievements in cricket are unparalleled, the records set by him unmatched, and the spirit of sportsmanship displayed by him exemplary. That he has been honoured with several awards is testimony to his extraordinary brilliance as a sportsman," it added.
At 40, Tendulkar is the youngest to be chosen for Bharat Ratna. He will be the 42nd recipient of the honour. Last year, Tendulkar was nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
The Mumbai cricketer has already received Padma Vibhushan (2008), Padma Shri (1999), Arjun Award (1994) and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (1997-98).
Tendulkar retired from international cricket today after playing his 200th and final Test at Wankhede Stadium.