New Delhi: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has ended its association with cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar after dropping him as its brand ambassador. The legend was signed on a couple of years back with much fanfare and conferred with the rank of a Group Captain as an honour for his achievements in sport.
The IAF had hoped that that Tendulkar would motivate the younger generation to take up a career in the force but the association has fallen short on those expectations which led to the cancellation.
Tendulkar was the first sportsperson to be conferred a rank by IAF and the first personality with no aviation background to receive the honour. The 37-year-old Tendulkar was inducted into the Air Force as its brand ambassador with former IAF chief Air Chief Marshal PV Naik doing the honours in a glittering ceremony at the Air Force auditorium.
"It's a great pleasure and honour to be honoured by IAF. It was a wishful thinking and it has come true today. I'm extremely proud to be a part of IAF. I want to urge the youth to join air force and serve the nation. So dream, because dreams do come true," Tendulkar had said after receiving the honour.
Earlier, President Pratibha Patil had conferred the honorary rank of the IAF on the iconic batsman on June 23, 2010.
The rank was conferred on Tendulkar under the provision of granting honorary rank by Armed Forces to eminent personalities acknowledging their contribution towards the nation.
The IAF had, in January 2010, mooted a proposal to confer the honorary rank of Group Captain on Tendulkar.
Before being felicitated with the honorary rank, Tendulkar had gone through a process of familiarisation with the IAF and training in basic military practices and drills.
(With additional information from PTI)