Anand backs Bharat Ratna demand for Tendulkar

Updated: Dec 23, 2010, 18:00 PM IST

Greater Noida: World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand on Thursday joined the growing list of top athletes supporting the demand that iconic batsman Sachin Tendulkar be conferred the Bharat Ratna -- the highest civilian honour in India.

When asked whether Tendulkar, who recently hit his 50th Test century, deserves to be awarded the Bharat Ratna, Anand said, “Sure, he has done a great job.”

“Especially the form our guys are showing should be great for the World Cup. It is not even that the team is depending on one guy, three-four guys are doing well, and hopefully we will pick the World Cup next year. He (Sachin) has been doing a great job,” Anand told reporters.

Tendulkar had slammed his 50th Test century in the second innings against South Africa in the first cricket Test in Centurion last Sunday.

Celebrities from different fields have backed the demand for the top honour for the 37-year-old batsman. The high-profile backers include ace shuttler Saina Nehwal and singing legends Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle.

Even some politicians, including BJP MP and Archery Association of India VK Malhotra have also said that Tendulkar should be conferred the honour for his achievements.

PTI