India and Mumbai Indians batting legend, Sachin Tendulkar was awarded the membership of the Order of Australia on Tuesday. Simon Crean, the Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government and Minister for the Arts, presented the Little Master with the Order.
During the occasion, Tendulkar spoke fondly of Australians and his experiences Down Under. "They are fierce competitors and play well and hard. But they also shower you with praises when you come out and play well. In fact my favourite ground away from home is Sydney (SCG)," he said.
Tendulkar, who is often compared to Don Bradman, also talked about the late Australian batting great. He said, “The most memorable trip of Australia was when I was invited by Sir Don Bradman on his 90th birthday.” He further added, “When I asked him why an average of 99.9, he replied, ‘Son, it is not bad for a 90-year-old!’"
Since his first trip Down Under in 1991-92, Tendulkar has been on every tour to the country with the Indian team. Over the years, he has certainly endeared himself to the cricketing public there.
While recalling his experiences in Australia, Tendulkar said, “Three and a half months changed me completely and I was ready to face any attack in the world,” He further added, “Whenever I went to bat there, everybody gave me a standing ovation. I laughed at times because they all thought it would be my last trip,”
Tendulkar has thus become only the third Indian, after Mother Teresa and former Attorney General Soli Sorabjee, to receive this honour. It was announced last month itself by the Australian Prime Minister Julian Gillard that Tendulkar will be awarded the Order of Australia.