Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has become the fourth non-Australian cricketer to be made an honorary member of the Order of Australia.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard revealed the award during a trip to India although Tendulkar will not receive his award until he returns from the Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa.
He joins Sir Garry Sobers, Clive Lloyd and Brian Lara as non-Australian cricketers who are honorary members while he becomes the second Indian to be honoured after general Soli Sorabjee in 2006.
"Cricket is of course a great bond between Australia and India. We are both cricket-mad nations. I'm very pleased we're going to confer on Sachin Tendulkar membership of the Order of Australia, an AM," Gillard said.
"This is a very special honour, very rarely awarded to someone who is not an Australian citizen or an Australian national."
The award was inaugurated in 1975, since when around 20 Australian cricketers have been awarded memberships with 7,500 people in all now members.
Tendulkar, 39, is the leading run-scorer in Test cricket and has played 106 times against Australia. When Australia tour India in February, he may have the opportunity to overtake Sir Jack Hobbs as the leading Test run-scorer against Australia.
He currently has 3,438 runs in 35 Tests while Hobbs scored 3,636 in 41.
© Cricket World 2012
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