Former India captain Anil Kumble on Wednesday said that he was proud of having played with Sachin Tendulkar who was recently conferred with the Bharat Ratna.
"I am extremely proud that I played with the Bharat Ratna (Tendulkar). Certainly he deserves a truly rich award," Kumble told reporters in Bangalore.
Kumble said Tendulkar's contribution on and off the field have been immense.
He said Tendulkar should be allowed to spend some time with his family, after so much of travelling for the last 24 years, playing cricket.
Kumble expressed regret at not attending the farewell Test of Tendulkar at Wankhede stadium as he was busy with some work related to Karnataka State Cricket Association elections.
"I couldn't make it to Wankhede as I was busy filing nominations. I told Tendulkar I would be present at the stadium on the fourth day but unfortunately the match folded on day three," he said.