As India celebrates its 72nd Independence Day, the country is soaked in patriotic fervour. Despite all the diversity, more than a billion people unite on this special day to remember the heroes of the freedom struggle and celebrate the gift of their sacrifices.

Sporting heroes, who have had the privilege of representing the nation at the international level, took to social media on Wednesday to post some heartfelt and inspiring messages for their fans.

IBTimes, India has compiled a list of messages from athletes on Independence Day 2018. Check them out below.

Batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who, more often than not single-handedly helped us bring out the patriots in us, took to social media to pay his tributes to the freedom fighters and urged the public not take "freedom for granted".

The World Cup-winning legend wrote: "Everything in life is hard-earned. Just like our independence. Among countless other things, there would have been no 'Team India' if not for the sacrifice of our brave freedom fighters. Let us not take that freedom for granted."

Sachin Tendulkar
File photo of Sachin Tendulkar at 2011 World Cup.PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

⁠Cricket star Suresh Raina came up with a thought-provoking message as he urged the citizens of the country to pay their debt to the heroes of freedom struggle by being humane and working hard every day.

"We are free, we are independent, It's the sacrifices of our hero's which made us ascendant. Those sacrifices are not to forget, not to abet, I urge each Indian to pay their debt with humanity, hard work & sweat," the left-handed batsman wrote.

Asian Games contingent celebrates Independence Day in Indonesia

Meanwhile, several Indian athletes from the Asian Games contingent took to Twitter to join the celebrations. Some of them, including hockey captain PR Sreejesh, his teammates, and badminton ace Saina Nehwal, posted their messages from Indonesia, which will host the continental multi-sport event on August 18.

India have sent a 572-strong contingent for the 18th edition of the Asian Games, which will be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.

The Asian giants finished eighth in 2014 edition of the Games with 11 gold, 9 silver and 37 bronze medals. They will be hoping to better the tally in Indonesia and the chances of doing so are bright, given the country's impressive showing at Commonwealth Games and the contenders' recent form.