Home > News >

Milkha Singh: Everybody’s icon, Sachin Tendulkar deserves the Bharat Ratna

Sachin Tendulkar is set to receive the highest civilian honour of the country next month © PTI
Sachin Tendulkar is set to receive the highest civilian honour of the country next month © PTI

Kolkata: Jan 22, 2014

Hailing the decision to confer Bharat Ratna on Sachin Tendulkar, legendary athlete Milkha Singh today said the cricket icon is a true ambassador of the sport to deserve the award.

“Many have received the Bharat Ratna but nobody remembers their names… However everybody will remember that Tendulkar got the Ratna. He is everybody’s sport icon,” Milkha, who was in the city to launch the DVD of “Vande Mataram… The New Light” by Smriti Lala of Rag Anurag Music Research Academy said.

Asked whether he’s happy with the Padma Shri he received from the government way back in 1958 after winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal, the flying Sikh said: “I don’t hanker after awards. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru knew me personally… I could have easily asked for acres of land but in our times we were not running after awards,” he said.

“I am happy with the Padma Shri. What difference does it make to me if I am now given a higher Padma Award? The people of India know my achievements. I did not want to run around for a Padma Bhushan or Vibhushan,” he added.

The ‘Flying Sikh’, who is still the first Indian sportsperson to have won an individual gold medal in Commonwealth Games (in 400m in Cardiff in 1958), said athletics is the real sport and his last wish is to see an Indian win an Olympic medal in athletics.

“We have won medals in boxing, shooting, wrestling, badminton but only by winning a medal in athletics will put your country in the world map,” he said citing example of Usain Bolt for Jamaica.

He does not blame the government for not producing world class track and field athletes.

“The government does a lot, ranging from providing the infrastructure to financial support for training etc. In our time, we didn’t get these facilities. Current athletes are getting all these.

“Yet, another Milkha Singh has not been produced in the country in nearly 60 years after me. I will say that the federation and the athletes were also to take some of the blame. Not all, but some athletes are lacking in commitment,” he said.

“It (the medal) slipped by a whisker in Rome 1960. But before I die, I want to see a youngster win it. That’s my only wish, why can’t a country of 1.2 billion produce another Milkha?” he asked.

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Oct 2, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

West Indies tour of India 2014, Practice match

Oct 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Mumbai

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Matador BBQs One-Day Cup, 2014

Oct 4, 2014 (05:00 IST)   at Brisbane

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Barbados won by 6 wkts (D/L method)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 30, 2014  at Bengaluru

Perth Scorchers won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 29, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 36 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 7 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 28, 2014  at Mohali

Hobart Hurricanes won by 6 wkts

Photos

Barbados Tridents vs Hobart Hurricanes, CLT20 2014

Videos

Arjuna Ranatunga shares his views on U-19 cricket

Jasprit Bumrah: Sachin Tendulkar giving me my debut cap was my most memorable moment with Mumbai Indians

Sachin Tendulkar fans turn Durga Puja pandal into cricket stadium

Pakistan players would be allowed in IPL soon, hopes Shahryar Khan

Nawaz Sharif’s only First-Class appearance

Ernie Jones — the man who sent a ball through the beard of WG Grace

Asian Games Asian Games 2014 Barbados Tridents Cape Cobras Champions League T20 2014 CLT20 CLT20 2014 Dolphins India at Asian Games 2014 Kings XI Punjab KKR vs Dolphins Kolkata Knight Riders

High Court forms selection committees for Rajasthan cricketers

Rohit Sharma ruled out of India-West Indies ODI series

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) should appoint Virat Kohli as Test captain: Mohammad Azharuddin

CLT20 2014: Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will look to maintain consistency against Chennai Super Kings says George Bailey

Kolkata Knight Riders coach Trevor Bayliss surprised at Sunil Narine’s action being reported

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi-final, CLT20 2014: KKR Likely XI

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi-Final, CLT20 2014 – Key battles

CLT20 2014: Players who impressed in the league stage

Jasprit Bumrah: Sachin Tendulkar giving me my debut cap was my most memorable moment with Mumbai Indians

CLT20 2014: Lahore Lions vs Perth Scorchers, Match 19, Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

671 Posts | 6 Fans

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Kings XI Punjab- Final Match Highlights from IPL 2014

Why a steady heartbeat is bad for you

Windows 10 Technical Preview now available, here’s how to download it

6 changes that take place in your breasts during pregnancy

Alia Bhatt goofs-up again, unaware of Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan’s resignation!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 to launch in India on October 10

Leaked: Mrunal Jain goes semi nude – view pic!

High Court forms selection committees for Rajasthan cricketers

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Hobart Hurricanes, 1st Semi-Final, CLT20 2014 – Key battles

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here