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Australia PM salutes Tendulkar

cricket Updated: Nov 12, 2009 17:25 IST

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Visiting Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday doffed his hat at Sachin Tendulkar, saluting the Indian batting great for becoming the first cricketer to score 17,000 runs in one day cricket.

"I congratulate Sachin Tendulkar on achieving the outstanding milestone of 17,000 One Day International runs," Rudd said while addressing an India Business Lunch in the capital.

Incidentally, Tendulkar reached the milestone during the just-concluded ODI series against Australia.

Rudd conveyed the respect Tendulkar commands in Australia and said, "From one cricket mad nation to another, we salute the 'Little Master'."

"I'm advised his young teammate Yuvraj Singh has started calling the 36-year-old 'grandfather', where that places 52-year-old like me, I'm not sure," Rudd quipped.

"And may I say on behalf of all Australian cricket fans that if Sachin does decide it is time to retire, we would support him wholeheartedly," he said, tongue-in-cheek.

"Of course there is more to life than cricket," Rudd added as the gathering burst into laughter.

The Australian Prime Minister said he would have loved to be in Mumbai yesterday for the seventh and final India-Australia ODI which was washed out.