The name of Master Blaster Sachin Tendulkar [ Images ] is one of the most recommended by various groups for the Bharat Ratna award.
This has been confirmed by Information and Broadcasting minister Mrs Ambika Soni in a conversation with journalists at Shastri Bhavan in New Delhi [ Images ].
"Various groups and individuals have written to the government and demanded that because of the services rendered by Sachin Tendulkar he should be bestowed with the honour of Bharat Ratna," Mrs Soni said.
She said that names of some inportant individuals including Atal Bihari Vajpayee [ Images ] have also been forwarded to the government for bestowing this unique honour to the former prime minister.
"I do not know what is the thinking within the government circles. This is a matter to be decided by the prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh [ Images ].
"Some years back a conscious decision was taken to open the Bharat Ratna award for the film personalities as well. I can't see why the same policy could not be extended to sports as well. I personally feel that Sachin Tendulkar does deserve the honour.
"Whether any name is under active consideration of the government only Prime Minister's office would be in a position to tell," Mrs Soni said.
Sources in the Prime Minister's office said that, unlike the Padma awards, which are conferred after a selection process through an appointed committee, the decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on someone is taken by the Cabinet under the Prime Minister's guidance.
The Master Blaster has scored 51 hundreds in Test cricket, over 17,000 runs in cricket and has 46 hundreds in One-Day Internationals.
He would be playing what could be his last World Cup next month.