Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on Monday became India's first active sportsperson to be sworn in as a member of parliament.
In a surprising move, the world's highest Test run scorer was nominated to the upper house, the Rajya Sabha, along with film personality Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga in April this year.
"In the last 22 years of my international career, cricket has given me so much," said the 39-year-old batsman after taking oath in vice president Hamid Ansari's office.
"Today with the nomination, I am in a better position not only to help cricket but also other sports," he added.
In March, Tendulkar, who contines to play test and one day matches for his country, became the first cricketer to score 100 international centuries. Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi invited Tendulkar to her residence to congratulate him on the historic feat.
The soft-spoken cricketer has previously been considered for the Bharat Ratna, the nation's highest civilian honour.
It may be recalled that in April this year, the Home Ministry recommended cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, Bollywood actress Rekha and industrialist Anu Agha for the Rajya Sabha after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wrote a letter to the ministry to nominate them under the President's quota.
The President of India has accepted the nomination of Tendulkar and Rekha and Anu Agha.
The nomination of Tendulkar, who recently scored his hundredth international century, has been welcomed by both politicians and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad welcomed Tendulkar's nomination, saying that he would devote some time to Parliament.
Article 80 of the Indian constitution says that the President can nominate twelve members to the Rajya Sabha and the persons should have special knowledge or practical experience in respect of various fields like literature, science, art and social service.
(With Inputs from Reuters)