Renowned athlete Milkha Singh strongly feels that iconic Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar should be made India's Sports Minister.
"Tendulkar should be made the sports minister. He has full knowledge about sports and it can be of immense help in lifting the standard of sports in the country. If he becomes the minister, the standard of sports will definitely go up," Singh said in Chandigarh on Tuesday.
He said that Tendulkar is very sincere and can do the job well. "He knows the difficulties which are being faced by the sportspersons. I think he can do this job well. The government should not face any major hurdle in making him the sports minister since he is already a Rajya Sabha member," Singh told PTI.
Singh, popularly known as the 'Flying Sikh', recalled his past meetings with Tendulkar. "He is very humble, decent, sincere and a hard worker. He can guide the upcoming talent very well," the octogenarian added.
Lauding Tendulkar's love for sports, former Test cricketer Chandu Borde also echoed Milka Singh and expressed his desire to see the retiring legend as Sports Minister of India in the future.
"I do not believe Sachin can ever distance himself from sports. It's in his blood. In the future, I wish to see him don the cap of India's Sports Minister and raise our overall sports performance to glorious levels, as he has done for Indian cricket," said Borde, who was also the former chairman of national selectors, during a function organised at Global Indian international Cricket Academy in Noida.
Borde, who was the Indian team manager on Tendulkar's debut tour in 1989, said the way the iconic batsman carried himself both on and off the field was an impeccable example for youngsters to follow.
"Sachin always kept his emotions under control and played the game in its right spirit. Even in incidents where he was wrongfully dismissed by the umpires, he did not dispute the decisions or show any negative behaviour towards the umpires. "If a cricketer of his stature can behave in such a dignified manner, then his behaviour sets an example for the cricketers of the day to keep their emotions in check and concentrate on their game," he said.
The 40-year-old veteran will be playing his landmark 200th and final Test of his career against the West Indies starting on Wednesday at his home ground in Mumbai and Borde believes even after hanging up his boots the little man will continue to inspire youngsters to take up sports.
"There are so many marvellous qualities in Sachin that I think he will continue to be a youth icon. Sachin has sacrificed tremendously for the game. He could have enjoyed the pleasures of youth, but he single-mindedly carried on with his disciplined lifestyle due to his love for the game," said Borde.
Joining the chorus of voices calling for Sachin's appointment as the next Sports Minister is double Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar.
"Sachin should become the sports minister of India," the wrestler said at a conclave organised by the India Today Group in Mumbai.
The wrestler appealed to every sportsperson that Sachin should be an inspiration to them. "Followers of Sachin always learn from him and every Olympian should learn from him," he remarked.