Sachin Tendulkar
Sachin Tendulkar

Tendulkar takes guard

MASTER batsman Sachin Tendulkar didn't waste any time making something very clear after he was sworn in as a member of the upper house of parliament (Rajya Sabha) in India on Monday.

"Cricket comes first," Tendulkar, the world's highest run-scorer in both Test and one-day cricket, said. "I don't want rumours to start that I have stopped playing cricket.

"I will let everyone know when I stop playing."

Tendulkar, 39, who became the first batsman to complete 100 international centuries, 51 in Tests and 49 in one-dayers, in March, was nominated for parliament by the ruling Congress party in April.

Of the 250 Rajya Sabha members, 12 are nominated by the president for 'special knowledge or practical experience in respect of such matters as literature, science, art and social service' according to the constitution.

Tendulkar said accepting the offer to become a member was a great opportunity for him to give something back to the game he'd played for so long, but he would also go into bat for other sports as well.

"I think I am in a better position not only to help cricket, but also other sports in the country," Tendulkar, who made his international debut in 1989 and has played 188 tests and 463 one-day internationals, said.

"I would be happy if I am remembered as someone who has contributed to all sports in India rather than just my cricket statistics."