New Delhi: Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar today took oath as member of the Rajya Sabha making it clear that his focus would be cricket and hinting at concentrating on Parliament work after he stops playing the game.
However, he hastened to add that he does not want rumours to swirl that he has stopped playing cricket for Parliament.
"...I am here because of my cricketing career. I cannot take any focus away from my cricket. That is where it all started for me. I will focus on my cricket and as and when I stop playing cricket, I don't know, when I will start attending to other things.
"I don't want rumours to start that I have stopped playing cricket. I will let everyone know when I will stop playing cricket," he said when asked how he would assuage people who raise questions whether he would be able to do justice to the job in Parliament when he is still playing cricket.
Earlier, 39-year-old Tendulkar took oath as member of the Rajya Sabha in the presence of Chairman Hamid Ansari and Union Ministers Rajiv Shukla, Harish Rawat and V Narayanasamy.
Tendulkar, along with film actor Rekha and industrialist Anu Aga was nominated as members of the Rajya Sabha by President Pratibha Patil on April 26.
"Cricket comes first," Tendulkar told reporters as he and wife Anjali were chaperoned by Shukla to Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari's chamber.
There was much excitement in the corridors of Parliament as a large number of officials gathered outside Ansari's chamber where Tendulkar took oath.
A number of Parliament staffers took out their mobile phones to capture a glimpse of the cricketer.
After taking oath, Tendulkar said it was a great honour for him to be nominated as a Rajya Sabha member by the President.
Tendulkar said the Rajya Sabha nomination has put him in better position to help not only cricket but also other sports in the country.