Sachin Tendulkar ‘MP’ Says Cricket Comes First

NEW DELHI: Batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar said Tuesday he was “honoured” to be nominated to India’s parliament but stressed that cricket would remain his priority as long as he keeps playing.

Last week, Tendulkar was offered one of the 12 seats in the upper house of parliament that are reserved for those who have distinguished themselves in various fields such as the arts, sciences or social services.

“When you get nominated because of your contribution in your field, it’s an honour. I was excited to be nominated,” Tendulkar, 39, told a televised press function in Pune in western India. “I don’t think I will stop (playing) cricket and go straight into politics. I will keep playing cricket. Cricket is my life and will always be,” he added.

Tendulkar has not formally accepted his nomination, but such honours are rarely handed out without the prior agreement of the nominee. It is unclear exactly when Tendulkar might take up his seat.

The “Little Master’s” nomination had raised many eyebrows across India, with some questioning how the publicly apolitical cricketer could balance his sporting commitments with his duties as an MP.

Tendulkar has played more Tests (188) and one-day internationals (463) than any other player since his debut in 1989. He is the highest run-getter in both forms of the game and last month became the first batsman to complete 100 international centuries — 51 in Tests and 49 in one-dayers.

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