As congratulatory messages for Sachin Tendulkar poured in from around the world, Afghanistan's Ambassador to India, Shaida Abdali, said the cricketing legend deserved much more than what is being given to him "anywhere" in the world.
"I congratulate him on a very successful career as a cricketer of India. I think he is not only a cricket hero for India but for the entire cricket world, especially for Afghanistan," Abdali told PTI.
Tendulkar, 40, walked into sunset after the Mumbai Test against the West Indies, which ended in less than three days today.
"Our cricket team with which I have a close relationship with, speaks of Tendulkar and M S Dhoni," he said, adding, "many Afghans speak highly of Tendulkar".
Talking about Tendulkar being chosen for the prestigious Bharat Ratna, Abdali said, "he really deserves it".
"I watched his last match, scoring 74....under pressure, still producing the result that we saw... deserves a lot more than what is given anywhere in the world. I am glad that India gave him that highest award," he said, praising the batting legend.
"He is an inspiration, I personally like him very much, I have been pursuing his matches since my childhood," Abdali said of Sachin, whose glittering career came to an end today after his 200 Test matches.
"Our cricket team is a big fan of India and they have been asking me to arrange a cricket match with them before the World Cup. I hope i will succeed to fulfil their dream to play with India, which they have in the past, as they like the Indian cricketers very much," Abdali said of the admiration the Afghan team has for Indian cricketers.