Sachin Tendulkar agreed on Tuesday to become India’s goodwill ambassador for the Rio Olympics 2016 in August. Tendulkar is the third Indian ambassador for the games after Bollywood actor Salman Khan and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) invited Tendulkar to come on board on April 29. Tendulkar said he would be happy to accept the hounour and added that he would do whatever he could to promote sports in the country.
“Sachin Tendulkar has accepted our request to become goodwill ambassador of Indian contingent at the Olympics. We have received the official communication from him accpeting our request,” IOA Secretary General Rajiv Mehta told PTI.
“We are very happy to have an iconic sportsperson like Mr Tendulkar on board as goodwill ambassador. We are thankful to him. We hope his association and the association of other goodwill ambassadors will take Indian sport forward,” he added.
The IOA’s move to make Salman the goodwill ambassador drew flak from wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former athlete Milkha Singh, who said the honour should be given to top sportspersons.
Asked about what specific role the goodwill ambassadors would play, Mehta said: “These iconic sportspersons and celebrities will spread the idea of Olympic movement in every nook and corner of the country, every village, block and city of India.
“They will help in buolding up a sporting culture in this country. We need a sporting culture if we want to become a sporting country.”