Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, has said that master batsman Sachin Tendulkar should not play in the Indian Premier League if his name was under consideration for the country's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna.
"In my view, Sachin Tendulkar should not play in IPL if his name is being considered for Bharat Ratna," he said.
"When players like Sachin Tendulkar are sold and bought, it really hurts. A player plays for the country and not for companies," the Chief Minister said here last evening at a function to mark the completion of 75 years of Indian Hockey team's victory in the Berlin Olympics, 1936.
Chouhan blamed the IPL for 'ruining' the sport. He also said that Hockey legend Major Dhyanchand deserved to be the first sportsman to get this highest honour, though Tendulkar too was a highly talented player.
Dhyanchand was the first sportsman in whose name a postal stamp was issued, he reminded.
Appealing to the senior players to promote hockey, Chauhan promised all help from Madhya Pradesh government.
He felicitated veteran Hockey players and Olympians Gurbakhsh Singh, Mukhben Singh, Inamur Rehman, Charles Corneous, Ajit Singh, Ashok Dhyanchand, Virendra Singh, Ashok Diwan, Syed Ali, Harcharan Singh, Mirranjan Negi, Jalaluddin Rizvi, Sujit Kumar and Samir Dad.
The senior hockey players presented a memorandum to the Chief Minister, urging him to recommend Major Dhyanchand's name for a posthumous Bharat Ratna.