Sourav Ganguly, regarded as one of the greatest captains of the India cricket team, is happy to see his former teammate Sachin Tendulkar as one of the Goodwill Ambassadors for the Indian contingent in the Rio Olympics 2016. After Bollywood superstar Salman Khan and 2008 Olympic gold medallist in 10m air rifle event, Abhinav Bindra, Tendulkar became the third well-known Indian face to don the ambassadorial hat.
The IOA (Indian Olympic Association) had stated that in an effort to get more popularity for the Olympics across the country, they were keen on roping in celebrities from the field of sports and entertainment. Well-known music composer AR Rahman was also approached to take on the role, but the 'Mozart of Madras' hasn't responded to the IOA's offer as yet.
Tendulkar, however, accepted the offer on Tuesday.
"Sachin has done wonders for India and that is why they [the IOA] have him on board," Ganguly was quoted as saying by IANS on Wednesday.
Tendulkar, 43, on his part, mentioned that he was really happy to take on the role. In a letter to the IOA, the 'Little Master' stated that he would be more than happy to meet the Indian athletes before they leave for Rio de Janeiro ahead of the games in August.
"I have had the privilege and honour of representing my 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 was quoted by NDTV as saying in the letter.
"I strongly believe that the sportspersons from different parts of the country, pursuing their unique skills, are the true ambassadors of the growing sporting culture in this country. Awareness about their struggles, disciple and single-minded focus will help develop many more world beating champions and encourage passionate following of the Olympics in our country.
"It will be my pleasure to meet these world-class athletes before they leave for Rio (and) to learn about their experiences and preparations. I am also happy to be part of any awareness campaign that can rally the country around our athletes and motivate them, including amplifying their efforts and success on my Twitter and Facebook accounts.
"I am keen to rally enhanced support for our champion athletes. My best wishes to the entire contingent as we look forward to them proudly expressing themselves in Rio."