felicitation ceremony, which the Maharashtra government has been planning to honour retired batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, may take another three months, according to a senior state minister.
The state government has set up a seven-member committee to work out the modalities for honouring the cricketer, who retired from all forms of the game after his 200th Test match in November last year. It would take another 2-3 months for the government to felicitate Sachin, the minister said. “It’s not possible to hold the felicitation programme now as the Lok Sabha elections are approaching.
Also, the schedule of the government is busy because of regular Cabinet meetings,” the minister told. “The date (for felicitation) has still not been decided. We will seek the date and time after contacting him,” he added.
The panel set up by the government will finalise all aspects of felicitation function, including a memento to be given to the ace cricketer, who was recently conferred with the Bharat Ratna – the country’s highest civilian honour. Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar are the patrons of the committee, which will be chaired by the minister for sports and youth welfare.
Terming Sachin the “great son of Maharashtra,” a government resolution had earlier said that the state government has been considering honouring the cricketer. “The prestige of Maharashtra and India has increased due to Sachin’s contribution to the game,” the government had said.
The state government is taking cue from the cricketing world’s tradition of presenting autographed bats to winners or retiring players, and is planning to present the Mumbai-based cricketer a special silver trophy bearing the signatures of all 40 ministers.