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Sachin Tendulkar has become India's third goodwill ambassador for the 2016 Rio Olympics

Thursday 5th of May 2016

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The cricket legend joins Olympic shooting champion Abhinav Bindra and Bollywood superstar Salman Khan.


The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) confirmed that Tendulkar had accepted its offer after the national Olympic body had invited the batting legend to come on board on April 29.


There was a huge uproar after Bollywood superstar Salman Khan had been appointed Goodwill Ambassador ahead of other sporting luminaries. Former and current athletes were up in arms against Salman's appointment and demanded to know why someone from the field of sports was not named by the federation. Interestingly, Salman's new movie 'Sultan' based on wrestlers, is due for release soon.


The IOA immediately went into damage-control mode and named Beijing Games gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra as another Goodwill Ambassador last week. Tendulkar's 'yes' is now bound to soothe plenty of ruffled feathers in the Indian sporting fraternity.


Tendulkar today wrote a letter to IOA President N Ramachandran and Mehta, confirming his support for the Rio-bound athletes and expressed willingness to meet the Indian contingent before it departs for Brazil.


Thanking the two IOA officials for the letter, which they had sent to him, dated April 28, Tendulkar wrote: "I have had the privilege and honour of representing our nation for 24 years and I continue to bat for India off the field. The welfare of sportspersons and encouraging them to give their best is very dear to me.


Tendulkar also said that he would look forward to receiving details on athletes' progress.


Asked about what specific role the goodwill ambassadors would play, Mehta said: "These iconic sportspersons and celebrities will spread the idea of Olympic movement in every nook and corner of the country, every village, block and city of India.

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