It's official: Sachin Tendulkar to get Bharat Ratna

The Prime Minister's Office today announced that the government has decided to confer Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award on eminent scientist professor CNR Rao and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar is the first Indian sportsman to ever receive the highest award.

 Its official: Sachin Tendulkar to get Bharat Ratna

Sachin Tendulkar. BCCI

"Prof CNR Rao is an eminent scientist and a well recognized international authority on solid state and materials chemistry. He has published over 1,400 research papers and 45 books. Prof Rao's contributions have been recognized by most major scientific academies around the world through conferment of memberships and fellowships. He has been honoured with several national and international awards," a realease from the PMO said.

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Nothing could have been more befitting as the Centre also decided to declare the Bharat Ratna for Tendulkar, hours after he called it a day from international cricket.

"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. 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," the PMO release said while announcing the award for Tendulkar.

Reacting to the Bharat Ratna announcement, Tendulkar told CNN-IBN, "I am thankful for this honour. I dedicate it to my mother. India is my motherland."

Updated Date: Nov 16, 2013 18:56:12 IST