THE world's greatest living cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has been made an honorary Member of the Order of Australia, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced in India on Tuesday.
Tendulkar is not the first foreign cricketer to be bestowed the honour - West Indian champion Brian Lara received an Order of Australia from former prime minister Kevin Rudd in 2009.
Ms Gillard made the announcement during her visit to India for talks about a number of issues, including the sale of uranium.
But she will not be presenting Tendulkar with his Order of Australia.
Because Tendulkar is on tour, he will receive his Order of Australia from Regional Australia Minister Simon Crean when he visits India in November.
Ms Gillard said the brilliant right-hand batsman, who has scored 100 international centuries in one-day and Test cricket, was a special cricketer.
Tendulkar will join West Indies cricket greats Brian Lara (2009) and Sir Clive Lloyd (1985) as award holders.
"Cricket is of course a great bond between Australia and India," Ms Gillard said while making the announcement at a cricket clinic in India yesterday.
" 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.
"This is a very special honour, very rarely awarded to someone who is not an Australian citizen or an Australian national," she said.