India Prime Minister leads nation in praising Sachin Tendulkar 100 centuries achievement
India's prime minister led the tributes to batting superstar Sachin Tendulkar who became the first player in cricketing history to score 100 international centuries.
"I join the nation in congratulating Sachin Tendulkar on his making history -- a hundred centuries. He has made India proud," Manmohan Singh said in a press release.
"Tendulkar's long career has been a triumph of class, character and courage. I wish him many more innings and feats to continue inspiring the youth," added the statement from the premier.
Tendulkar, who turns 39 next month, achieved the milestone with his 49th one-day century in an Asia Cup match against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka. He has 51 Test hundreds.
International Cricket Council president Sharad Pawar and its chief executive Haroon Lorgat lauded the Mumbai batsman's feat.
"You have made India and the game of cricket proud in accomplishing this milestone," Pawar, a former Indian cricket chief, said in a message to Tendulkar.
"Your achievement speaks volume of your dedication to this great game. I am sure your illustrious career will be written in golden letters in the history of cricket and will serve as beacon of inspiration for many generations of cricketers to follow."
Lorgat described Tendulkar as a "role model who will undoubtedly hold a special place in cricket's history."
Praise for Tendulkar also came from the United States, not a country known for its interest in cricket.
Robert Blake, the US assistant secretary of state for South Asia, congratulated Tendulkar on Twitter for the "remarkable milestone for one of the world's great sportsmen."
Millions of fans in India and across the cricketing world had endured an anxious year-long wait for the great moment, with Tendulkar seeming permanently stuck on a tally of 99 centuries.
"Well played Sachin the little master...!!!" former England all-rounder Ian Botham posted on Twitter.
The micro-blogging site was flooded with congratulatory messages that poured in from fans and officials the world over immediately after the "Master Blaster" reached the 100-run mark.
Former England skipper Nasser Hussain, who was in New Delhi on Friday, told reporters that Tendulkar had secured his place at the top of the all-time list.
"Sir Donald Bradman was great but for me the greatest batsman to have ever played the game is Sachin Tendulkar," Hussain said.
Bollywood stars were also quick to add their tributes.
"India breathes normally..!! Sachin completes an incredible feat!! A hundred 100's... Never done before, perhaps never after," film legend Amitabh Bachchan posted on his Twitter feed.
"Finally he did it. Sachin creates history in world cricket! Congrats to Sachin Hundredkar. Respect," tweeted another actor Akshay Kumar.