September 4th, 2010 by Ravi Matah | Posted in News, Sports   No Comments »
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Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar has been awarded the honorary rank of group Captain in the Indian Air Force in a glittering ceremony held in New Delhi on Friday. Air Chief Marshal PN Naik pipped his uniformed shoulders with the rank and said that Sachin would soon be flying sorties in Su-30MKI, and added that it depends on the master blaster to make him available for this purpose. 

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar


Master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, who sets the cricket field on fire with his bat, now wishes to light up the skies by flying a Sukhoi-30MKI, the most lethal fighter jet in the Indian Air Force. 

Sachin Tendulkar has 48 Test Cricket centuries under his belt and has stated that he has no plans to retire from International Cricket in the near future. 

Replying to a question about the fighter plane he wishes to fly, the batting legend said: “I want to fly a Sukhoi-30MKI.” 

Everyone on earth is a Sachin fan and welcoming Tendulkar into the Indian Air Force, Air Chief Marshal Naik said: “I have been Sachin’s fan since he started playing. It is a momentous occasion for the IAF that he has joined the ranks as Group Captain.” 

Giving reasons for awarding an honorary rank to Sachin, the IAF chief mentioned his qualities like tremendous exceptional service to the nation, professional excellence, single-minded devotion to duty, dedication and perseverance, courage in adversity, loyalty to friends, humility and upholding the Indian family values. 

Regarding his impeccable integrity I quote this – ‘”Sachin cannot cheat. He is to cricket what (Mahatma) Gandhiji was to politics. It’s clear discrimination.” – NKP Salve, former Union Minister when Sachin was accused of ball tempering. 

He further said that all of these qualities in Sachin are required in the air force also to serve the nation and to make the IAF as one of the most professional air forces of the world. 

“So dream…because dreams do come true,” said Sachin Tendulkar as he was formally inducted as an Honorary Group Captain of the Indian Air Force. 

Sachin said that after watching Tom Cruise in Top Gun as a teenager, he took to wearing aviator sunglasses. “I was fond of fighter planes, super bikes. But I had the privilege of getting into a fighter plane in 1996 in South Africa…I have never revealed this before but I was really scared.” 

The Air Force has conferred the honorary rank on Sachin in recognition of his achievements as an Indian and a cricketer. In June, a formal statement from Rashtrapati Bhawan said, “as the supreme commander of the armed forces of India”, President Pratibha Patil had decided to include Sachin “under the provision of grant of honorary rank by armed forces to eminent personalities acknowledging their contribution towards the nation.” 

Tendulkar will function like a brand ambassador, and is expected to inspire many young men and women to join the air force.  He is the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour. 

Members of media present asked Sachin  questions about match fixing revolving around the Pakistan cricketers. Maintaining his cool by the number of match fixing questions coming his way, the world’s leading run maker only stated that he would rather keep himself busy scoring runs, which was his business, rather than worry what was happening around. 

He did earlier mention that he felt that those who were found guilty should be punished after the ICC conducted a proper investigation. He also claimed that he had no knowledge about Indian players being approached by bookies to fix matches during his twenty-one year career. 

When asked if the young cricketers were susceptible to such situations because of the lure of money, Sachin stated rather frankly that when he wanted to play cricket, he did not come into the sport thinking he had to make money. And he claims even today, he does not feel he can sleep peacefully at night if he made more money and less runs. 

In 2008, the Indian Army awarded former cricketer Kapil Dev, India’s World Cup winning Captain an honorary Lt. Colonel in its Territorial Wing.

Ravi Matah

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