Mumbai, Nov.17 (ANI): Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Sunday said that playing international cricket for 24 years has been the most important thing, and added that even though he would not be physically playing for India, he would always be praying for India's victory.
"Playing international cricket for 24 years was the most important thing of my life. Cricket has been my life; it is my oxygen. 75 percent of my life has been cricket. It still has not struck me that I will not play cricket anymore," he told media here today.
"Those 22 yards have given me everything in my life, it is a temple for me. I wanted to say a big thank you to cricket. Even though physically I am not playing for India, in my heart I will always be playing for India, and praying for India's victory," he added.
He further said that that he is extremely honoured on being awarded the Bharat Ratna, and said that this prestigious award is dedicated to millions of mothers in India for all the sacrifices they have made for their children.
"Yesterday, I said Bharat Ratna is for my mother for all the sacrifices she has made right from my birth. Bharat Ratna is dedicated to millions of mothers in India for all the sacrifices they have made for their children. I am humbled and honoured that this award has been bestowed upon me for my contribution to cricket," he said.
He also congratulated Prof. C N R Rao for getting the Bharat Ratna, and said the he is extremely honoured to share his name with such an eminent scientist.
Tendulkar also said he could achieve great heights of success because of the guidance of his coach Ramakant Achrekar.
"I am where I am because of the guidance of Achrekar sir and other coaches. Because of coach Achrekar's respects, I have reached till this level. Achrekar sir called me yesterday and said, 'well done'," he added.
The Government on Saturday announced that Sachin Tendulkar would be awarded the Bharat Ratna for his contributions to the sport.
Tendulkar retired from International cricket after paying his 200th and final Test, at the Wankhede Stadium against the West Indies. (ANI)