Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has accepted the Indian Olympic Association's invitation to become a goodwill ambassador for the country at the upcoming Rio Olympics.
He is the third goodwill ambassador roped in by the IOA after Bollywood actor Salman Khan and ace shooter Abhinav Bindra.
The IOA confirmed on Tuesday that the batting icon accepted its April 29 offer to come on board.
"Sachin Tendulkar has accepted our request to become goodwill ambassador of Indian contingent at the Olympics. We have received the official communication from him accepting our request," IOA secretary-seneral Rajiv Mehta told PTI.
"We are very happy to have an iconic sportsperson like Mr Tendulkar on board as goodwill ambassador. We are thankful to him. We hope his association and the association of other goodwill ambassadors will take Indian sport forward," he added.
The IOA had approached Bindra, Tendulkar and celebrated music composer A R Rehman after its move to make Salman the goodwill ambassador drew flak from many quarters, including wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and former athlete Milkha Singh who had said the honour should be given to top sportspersons.
The IOA secretary-sGeneral, however, said they are yet to get confirmation from Rehman.
"Mr Rehman is yet to communicate to us but we are hopeful that he will also accept our invitation," Mehta said.
Asked what specific role the goodwill ambassadors will play, Mehta replied: "These iconic sportspersons and celebrities will spread the idea of Olympic movement in every nook and corner of the country, every village, block and city of India.
"They will help in building up a sporting culture in this country. We need a sporting culture if we want to become a sporting country."