NEW DELHI: India’s prime minister has put forward batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar for membership of the upper house of parliament, reports said on Thursday.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written a letter to the president recommending the cricketer be nominated to the Rajya Sabha, the NDTV news channel quoted sources as saying.
Tendulkar, who turned 39 this week, was in New Delhi to play an Indian Premier League match for the Mumbai Indians against the Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium on Friday.
Earlier on Thursday, Tendulkar and his wife had called on ruling Congress party president Sonia Gandhi at her residence – a meeting described as a “courtesy visit” by the local media.
The vast majority of the 250 seats in the upper house of India’s parliament are filled by members elected by the legislatures in their home states.
But 12 seats lie in the favour of the president and are normally awarded to people who have excelled in such fields as the arts, science and sport.
Tendulkar’s name is among four that the government has recommended to the president to fill seats currently lying vacant, the Press Trust of India news agency said.
Tendulkar made his international debut in 1989 and has played more Tests (188) and one-day internationals (463) than any other player.
He is the highest run-getter in both forms of the game and last month became the first batsman to complete 100 international centuries – 51 in Tests and 49 in one-dayers.
Reports of his Rajya Sabha nomination are likely to spark fresh speculation about his immediate future, although Tendulkar himself has dismissed talk of retirement anytime soon.