New Delhi: India’s legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar on Tuesday accepted Indian Olympic Association’s (IOA) offer to become India’s Goodwill Ambassador for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, this summer.
Tendulkar is the third man to accept the role within a fortnight after Bollywood actor Salman Khan, who was approached first, and Olympics gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra.
“It will be my pleasure to meet these world-class athletes before they leave for Rio to learn about their experiences and preparations,” Tendulkar wrote in his acceptance letter to the IOA (read the complete letter below).
After the flak the IOA faced for appointing Salman instead of a sports personality, the association approached Bindra, Tendulkar and music maestro AR Rahman to become the Goodwill Ambassador for the Games.
While Bindra accepted IOA’s offer last week, Sachin gave his acceptance on Tuesday. “I look forward to receiving details on your planned initiatives towards this objective. My best wishes to the entire contingent as we look forward to them proudly expressing themselves in Rio,” Tendulkar added.
Top athletes, including wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and ace sprinter Milkha Singh, had strongly opposed Salman’s appointment, while many also supported the choice of Bollywood star.
The IOA later thanked Tendulkar for accepting the offer. “We are very happy to have an iconic sportsperson like Mr. Tendulkar on board as goodwill ambassador,” IOA secretary Rajeev Mehta told.
“We are thankful to him. We hope his association and the association of other goodwill ambassadors will take Indian sport forward,” he further said.