MUMBAI: Cricket great Sachin Tendulkar is to be given an honorary rank in the Indian Air Force in recognition of his contribution to the nation and to encourage young people to join up.
Tendulkar, one of India`s greatest ever batsmen, said he was pleased to be honoured by the air force.
"It is indeed a great honour. I am proud to be associated with the dynamic force and I shall do my best to be a brand ambassador," Tendulkar, 37, said in a statement from London.
An Air Force statement said President Pratibha Patil had agreed to confer the rank of group captain on Tendulkar.
"The President and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces of India is pleased to confer Sachin Tendulkar the honorary rank of Group Captain of the Indian Air Force," the statement issued late Wednesday said.
"Tendulkar`s association with the IAF will motivate the younger generation to join the Air Force to serve the country."
The country`s armed forces grant honorary ranks to well-known personalities for their contribution to the nation.
In 2008, India`s 1983 World Cup-winning cricket captain Kapil Dev received the honorary rank of lieutenant colonel of the Territorial Army.
Tendulkar is the most prolific batsmen in contemporary cricket with a world record 47 Test and 46 one-day centuries, besides holding the record for most runs in both forms of the game.
BDST: 1545hrs, June 24, 2010