Bharat Ratna and legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar has said that cricket great Sachin Tendulkar also deserves India's highest civilian award.
"Whatever he (Sachin) has done for the country, very few people can. He deserves the honour. He has made all of us proud," Lata told television channels Friday. She received the honour in 2001.
Lata felt that the master blaster could have carried on playing for at least one more year.
"The way he played in the first innings, it seemed he could have played for another year or two," she said of the 40-year-old who made a fine 74 in his farewell Test against the West Indies.
Asked what Sachin should do post-retirement: "I think Sachin should open a cricket academy. He should impart his amazing knowledge to the youngsters. That way Sachin will be around through them."