Mumbai, Nov 18 (): The Government of India on Saturday decided to award the Bharat Ratna to Sachin Tendulkar, who retired the same day in the morning after playing his 200th Test in Mumbai.
Sachin has created history becoming the first sportsperson and the youngest recipient of the award till date, surpassing late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s record.
Rajiv Gandhi held the record for being the youngest Bharat Ratna awardee, after death at the age of 47. Now, Sachin is 40 and has created record.
The Prime Minister’s Office made the announcement hours after Tendulkar retired from the game after a 24-year international career. The letter by the prime minister was sent to the President at 1 pm on Saturday, and in half an hour the President had signed the recommendation and put out the official notification.
The official government press release stated 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.
On hearing the news, Tendulkar told that he dedicates this award to his mother. “I am thankful for this honour. I dedicate it to my mother. India is my motherland,” he said.
Along with Sachin Tendulkar, eminent scientist Professor CNR Rao was also announced by the government as the recipient for the highest civilian award. Tendulkar also congratulated Rao for being awarded the Bharat Ratna for his immense contribution to the field of science.
In 2008, Sachin received India’s second-highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan award along with chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand. He became the first sports person to receive this award. In 1994, Tendulkar received the Arjuna Award (a national award for distinguished sports persons) and in 1998 he received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the country’s highest sporting honour. The next year, he received the Padma Shri (the fourth-highest civilian award).