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.

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 21, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Bulawayo

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at St George's, Grenada

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 23, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Hambantota

India tour of England 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Bristol

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014 (00:00 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

More

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 20, 2014  at St George's, Grenada

West Indies won by 3 wkts

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 19, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 61 runs

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 17, 2014  at Bulawayo

South Africa won by 93 runs

India tour of England 2014

Aug 15, 2014  at London

England won by an innings and 244 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 14, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 105 runs

Photos

Highlights of Mahela Jayawardene’s Test career

Videos

Hughes explains technique behind cut shot

West Indies vs Bangladesh Live Cricket Score, 1st ODI at St George’s: West Indies win by 3 wickets

Len Pascoe: There was a hospital ward named after Jeff Thomson and me

India tour of Australia 2014-15: 5 ways India can avoid another overseas embarrassment

MS Dhoni can benefit from borrowing the ‘Sourav Ganguly School of leadership’

Ravi Shastri inspired confidence as player and captain: Will he do it in a coaching capacity?

England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka Pakistan vs Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Sri Lanka vs Pakistan 2014

Rahul Dravid was BCCI’s first choice ahead of Ravi Shastri to oversee Indian ODI team

BCCI willing to give Ravi Shastri blank cheque if he continues till ICC World Cup 2015

Stuart Broad to undergo knee surgery on September 4

West Indies vs Bangladesh 2014: Why West Indies’ victory is statistically significant

West Indies beat Bangladesh by 3 wickets in 1st ODI at Grenada

Alex Hales’ inclusion a positive move by England for ODI series against India

13 things you may not know about Ravi Shastri

India Women vs England Women — Despite Test win, India will face tough challenge in ODI series

Duncan Fletcher speaks out; explains why Team India failed in the Test series against England!

India Women vs England Women ODI series: Test victory should motivate them to improve their ODI record in England

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

659 Posts | 6 Fans

India tour of England 2014: Sunil Gavaskar says Indian batsmen did not learn anything

OnePlus starts hiring in India ahead of launch

How much money has the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raised till now?

Connect Broadband launches virus control system

Alex Hales’ inclusion a positive move by England for ODI series against India

Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini suffers ankle ligament damage

Rahul Dravid was BCCI’s first choice ahead of Ravi Shastri to oversee Indian ODI team

Vidya Balan gets caught while watching Salman Khan’s Kick in disguise!

Hrithik Roshan will not romance Jacqueline Fernandez

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here