Tendulkar is a living legend of the game
Legendary Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar is in line to become the fourth non-Australian cricketer to receive the Order of Australia honour.
Julia Gillard, the Prime Minister of Australia, announced that Tendulkar, who is currently in South Africa representing the Mumbai Indians in the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20), would receive the honour from cabinet member Simon Crean, who is set to visit India very soon.
“I’m very pleased we’re going to confer on Sachin Tendulkar membership of the Order of Australia, an AM, this is a very special honour, very rarely awarded to someone who is not an Australian citizen or an Australian national. He is away playing cricket – surprise, surprise – but the award will be conferred on him by minister Crean when [he] visits India. So a very special honour and a very special recognition of such a great batsman,” Gillard said.
Tendulkar has played against Australia 106 times over all three formats during his career, which is more than any other cricketer in history.
He has also toured Australia five times for Test series between 1991 and 2011, and Tendulkar only trails behind the legendary Jack Hobbs for the most Test runs scored against Australia.
Tendulkar is the first non-Australia to receive the award since 2009, when West Indies batsman Brian Lara for awarded the honour “for service to Australia-Caribbean relations by promoting goodwill, friendship and sportsmanship through the sport of cricket”.
Clive Lloyd, another West Indies great, was made an honorary Officer of the Order of Australia in 1985 for “outstanding and positive influence on the game in Australia”, and this ranks higher than being a member of the Order of Australia.
Sir Garfield Sobers, yet another West Indies legend, was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2003 “for service to cricket as a player and supporter of young players, particularly from disadvantaged areas and groups, and to the community through support for charitable organisations”.
Twenty Australian cricketers have been awarded the honour as well, and they include: Sir Donald Bradman, Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Mark Waugh, Mark Taylor, Adam Gilchrist, Glenn McGrath, Matthew Hayden, Dennis Lillee, Max Walker, Bob Simpson, Keith Miller, Justin Langer, Bill Lawry, Ricky Ponting, Peter Burge, Ron Archer, Alan Davidson, Dean Jones and Belinda Clark.