Sachin Tendulkar presented with Order of Australia medal

CRICKET great Sachin Tendulkar officially became an honorary Member of the Order of Australia on Tuesday night.

After Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the award during her trip to India last month, Cabinet Minister Simon Crean presented the medal at a function in Mumbai on Tuesday.

The award goes to the world's top cricketer for service to the Australia-India relationship, by promoting goodwill, friendship and sportsmanship.

Mr Crean said the game of cricket was a great uniter of people around the world, and India and Australia embrace the game "like nowhere else".

"As the first batsman in international history to score 100 hundreds earlier this year Sachin Tendulkar's record is second to none," he said.

"Today we are honouring not just what he has done on the field of play, but also what he has done off it.

"Along with his cricketing prowess, Sachin has contributed substantially to philanthropy and supports a range of charitable causes as well as sponsoring over 200 underprivileged children each year."

Mr Tendulkar was the second Indian to receive the Australian honour, after former human rights advocate and Indian Attorney-General Soli Jehangir Sorabjee.

In the cricketing world, only West Indians Brian Lara AM and Clive Lloyd AM have previously been given the honour.

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