Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has accepted Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) invitation to become the country’s goodwill ambassador for the upcoming Rio Olympics. Sachin Tendulkar is the third goodwill ambassador roped in by IOA after Bollywood actor Salman Khan and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra.
The IOA today confirmed that Tendulkar has accpeted its offer after the national Olympic body had invited the batting legend to come on board on April 29. “Sachin Tendulkar has accepted our request to become goodwill ambassador of Indian contingent at the Olympics. We have received the official communication from him accpeting our request,” IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI.
“We are very happy to have an iconic sportsperson like Mr Tendulkar on board as goodwill ambassador. We are thankful to him. We hope his association and the association of other goodwill ambassadors will take Indian sport forward,” he added.
The IOA’s had approached Bindra, Tendulkar and celebrated music composer AR Rehman after its move to make Salman the goodwill ambassador had drawn flak from many quarters, including wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former athlete Milkha Singh, who had said the honour should be given to top sportspersons.
The IOA Secretary General, however, said they are yet to get a confirmation from Rehman. “Mr. Rehman is yet to communicate to us but we are hopeful that he will also accept our invitation,” Mehta said.
Asked about what specific role the goodwill ambassadors would play, Mehta said: “These iconic sportspersons and celebrities will spread the idea of Olympic movement in every nook and corner of the country, every village, block and city of India. “They will help in buolding up a sporting culture in this country. We need a sporting culture if we want to become a sporting country.”