Mumbai, Oct. 29 (ANI): Former Australian cricketer Adam Gilchrist has supported his country's decision to give the 'Order of Australia' honour to Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, an issue which has not gone well with the Australian media, politicians and some former sportsmen such former Australian opener Mathew Hayden.
Earlier, in October, Australian lawmaker Rob Oakshott had questioned Prime Minister Julia Gillard's decision to give Order of Australia' honour to Tendulkar stating that while he admired the Indian legend, he was opposed to 'soft diplomacy'.
The development came into the light when the visiting Australian Prime Minister, Julian Gillard, on Tuesday (October 16) announced that batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar would be conferred with membership of the "Order of Australia".
Addressing an audience on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai, Gilchrist said on Monday that in his last 22 years, Sachin Tendulkar had proved his mettle and helped in the strengthening of relations between India and Australia.
"I have been asked a lot about this and probably the first point is that the discussion around this award and the variety of opinion that it has got, probably just shows to me what an amazing profile Sachin Tendulkar has. There have been other cricketers who have been honorary recipients in previous years and I am not very sure that many people were aware of that, certainly not as many people as what the attention that has been drawn to this. That is a credit to Sachin, that's endorsement of the place with which he is held in both countries. There is no doubt that in the last 22 years he has forged terrific ties between the two countries. His longevity I think is the greatest characteristic of a true champion," said Gilchrist.
Gillard had said it is a special honour, which is rarely conferred to non-Australians.
Meanwhile, Gilchrist refrained from advising Sachin on his retirement plans and said the master blaster would do so when the time is apt in his view.
"In his 22 years, there have been many times where people would have asked a question has he reached his peak, is he finished? I am sure he himself probably doesn't feel he is at the peak of his career, but he is certainly still performing well enough, a bit like Ricky Ponting to say that he wanted a spot in the team. I have got no doubt that his desire and appetite for success remains. Whatever is there, it is upto him to decide when that wanes and if he moves on," said Gilchrist..
Tendulkar is the leading run-scorer and century maker in Test and one-day international cricket.
Tendulkar is the only cricketer to accomplish the feat of scoring a hundred centuries in international cricket, which includes 49 ODI and 51 Test centuries.
Tendulkar, 39, is also the only player to score fifty centuries in Test cricket. (ANI)