President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday joined millions of cricket fans to hail the achievements of batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, who is playing his last Test match, and expressed hope that the legendary cricketer will continue to serve the game as well as the nation.
Talking to reporters after the prize distribution function at Rashtrapati Bhavan League T-10 cricket tournament, Mukherjee said "today is a special day...I join millions of adoring fans in hailing the achievements of Sachin Tendulkar as he plays his last international match in Mumbai beginning today".
Terming Tendulkar as "a great Ambassador of the game and of India" Mukherjee said he is a true icon who has inspired youth across the country by not only his stupendous records but by his conduct on and off the field.
"Sachin Tendular has decided to call it a day as far as cricket is concerned but I have no doubts that he will continue to serve the game and the nation," Mukherjee said.
The Rashtrapati Bhavan League T-19 cricket tournament finals were played today and was witnessed by employees of the Presidential Estate including members of the Delhi Police and the President's Bodyguard.
The finals coincided with Chidren's day and the 200th and last Test match of Sachin Tendulkar.
It was organized in response to demands from all sections of President's Secretariat to have such matches with the participation of a large number of staff members and with the goal of creating team spirit and a healthy sports environment.
He congratulated all the players and winners of the Rashtrapati Bhavan League T-10 Cricket Tournament.
"Today we are celebrating the birth anniversary of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was the architect of modern India. We are also celebrating Sachin Tendulkar's last international cricket match, which is taking place today".
"There is a saying that the battle of Waterloo was won on the playing-fields of Eton. It is significant because sports develop the characters of the participants and individuals. It builds up understanding, camaraderie and also what is popularly known as sportsman spirit, which becomes most important in life," Mukherjee said.
He expressed the hope that sports events such as these will enhance fellow-feeling amongst all members of the Rashtrapati Bhavan community.
The four teams which participated in the tournament were -- President's Secretariat Avengers, Household Royals, Delhi Police Challengers and PBG Chargers. The tournament was won by Household Royals defeating PBG Chargers.
The matches were played at school ground of Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya within the President's Estate and was inaugurated by Mukherjee on July 25 this year.