Tendulkar to participate in Olympic torch relay

The cricketer has agreed to join the torch relay in New Delhi on April 17.

updated: April 15, 2008 12:39 IST
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New Delhi:

The Indian leg of the Olympic torch relay received a shot in the arm with champion cricketer Sachin Tendulkar volunteering to join the April 17 run in the capital.

Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Suresh Kalmadi confirmed Tendulkar's participation in the relay, which has witnessed protest by pro-Tibetan supporters worldwide.

"It's a matter of great pride that the torch would pass through India. There is a big rush among the sportspersons to be part of it. Sachin Tendulkar called up this morning and asked if we would like him to carry the torch," Kalmadi said.

Incidentally, Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia has pulled out of the run with the flame, expressing his solidarity with the pro-Tibetan activists.

Kalmadi, meanwhile, assured that with adequate security in place, the relay would go without any hiccup.

"Milkha Singh, Pullela Gopichand, Anju Bobby George -- they all would take part in the relay and I appreciate their enthusiasm. In fact, there is a big demand to include them and we would accommodate as many as possible.

"The torch relay is a matter of pride and we would ensure that no untoward incident takes place. Everything has been planned and there would be adequate security measures," he said.

Asked if foolproof security would make it difficult for the common people to get a glimpse of the torch, the IOA chief dispelled such fear and said, "We are making adequate provision so that the common public and school students can watch it."