Sachin deserves Bharat Ratna: Dhanraj Pillay

Updated: Apr 06, 2011, 20:46 PM IST

Mumbai: Former hockey captain and Olympian Dhanraj Pillay on Wednesday joined the increasing chorus of voices demanding that senior cricketer Sachin Tendulkar be given the `Bharat Ratna` by the Indian government.

"Sachin certainly deserves to be conferred the Bharat Ratna for the way he has been playing for the last 22 years. He was the mastermind of our World Cup victory," said Pillay, who has represented India in four Olympics and hockey World Cups.

Pillay, who spoke on the sidelines of the function to release veteran photographer Mohan Bane`s pictorial book on the Beijing Olympics with English captions, `The Gold Wall of India`, also believed that Tendulkar should play in the next World Cup in 2015.

"He`s as fit as a 19 or 20 year old and he should play in the next World Cup too," said Pillay about Tendulkar who would be turning 38 on April 24.

Union Energy Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also said Tendulkar deserved to be honoured with the Bharat Ratna.

"Just like Donald Bradman, Tendulkar has brought happiness to the cricket fans of the world with his batsmanship. He deserves to be conferred with the Bharat Ratna," said Shinde who was among the dignitaries present at the book release event.

PTI