"Sachin Tendulkar is an icon for Indian youth. He has made India proud with his exploits in cricket. I feel he deserves the Bharat Ratna," the anti-graft crusader told PTI after inaugurating a tennis tournament in memory of his late mother Laxmibai at his native village Ralegan Siddhi.
The 38-year-old Tendulkar has to his name most of the batting records in Test and ODI cricket, including being the highest run-scorer and century maker in both formats, besides being the only male cricketer to score a double-hundred in ODIs. He is on the brink of becoming the first cricketer ever to score hundred international centuries, having already hit 99 tons (51 in Tests and 48 in ODIs).