Australian Formula 1 driver Mark Webber said here Wednesday that his country has utmost respect for Indian cricketing maestro Sachin Tendulkar.
"Sachin Tendulkar has just been an incredible cricketer and one of the most amazing sportspersons the world has seen. Australians have utmost respect for Tendulkar. The government, the people, everyone respects him," said Webber, who drives for current constructors' World Champions Red Bull.
Australia Prime Minister Julia Gilliard recently conferred Tendulkar with the Membership of the Order of Australia, an honour rarely bestowed on non-Australians. This did not go well with many Australians, who questioned whether the Indian batting legend should receive this honour.
However, Webber had a different take on it.
"We have given the Order of Australia to cricketers from other nations too. They have been doing it for a while now. We gave it to Garfield Sobers and Brian Lara. If we can give it to Lara then Tendulkar certainly deserves it," said the 36-year-old.