Former Test stars Sunil Gavaskar and VVS Laxman feel that Sachin Tendulkar thoroughly deserved the Bharat Ratna. Tendulkar has served Indian cricket for 24 years, since making his Test debut in November, 1989 in Pakistan. Tendulkar is also a Member of Parliament. (Tendulkar gets Bharat Ratna)
Gavaskar told NDTV on Saturday: "Tendulkar is not only a Bharat Ratna, but a Viswa Ratna." The former Indian Test opener was indicating Tendulkar's global appeal and how he has been the best ambassador for Indian cricket, having played over three generations of players starting from Kapil Dev to Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami.
Will there be a life for Tendulkar now that he has retired? Gavaskar feels Tendulkar can be great motivational speaker. "He said his father taught him there were no short cuts in life. This is a great lesson he can pass on to us Indians," said Gavaskar. (Tendulkar bids tearful goodbye)
Laxman feels India will miss 'Brand Tendulkar'. "He was a great crowd puller and people loved to watch him bat. Every time he would get out people would leave," said Laxman. However, the stylish Hyderabadi, who shared the dressing room with Tendulkar for many year, said: "He will be happy that Indian cricket is in good hands. Players like Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have blossomed in the last 10-11 months. Sachin will expect them to take Indian cricket forward."
Calling the Darren Sammy-led West Indian side the "worst-ever", Gavaskar said the next 12 months will test the caliber of the Indian players. He added tongue-in-cheek that if India failed abroad, then may be 'God' can be recalled. Tendulkar retired from cricket after his 200th Test that ended in Mumbai on Saturday.