Sachin Tendulkar is awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, after bowing out from international cricket. (Reuters)
An Indian cricket supporter kneels in front of a wax figure of Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar during a promotional event at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2013

Legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar, who is idolised by millions of Indian fans across the world as the god of cricket, celebrates his 44<sup>th birthday on 24 April. One of the greatest batsmen of all time, the former India captain has earned the nick name "Master Blaster" for his record-breaking feats in the game.

Tendulkar holds the record for scoring the most number of runs in Test cricket, for taking home the most number of man of the match awards and is the highest run getter in one-day internationals.

Paying tribute to his stellar 24-year career, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to social media to celebrate Tendulkar's birthday. "Wishing Bharat Ratna Shri Sachin Tendulkar a very happy birthday," he posted, referring to the highest civilian award bestowed on him in 2014.

The sporting community also wished the master batsman on Twitter. The International Cricket Council along with current India captain Virat Kholi, Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif wished the player online, and Tendulkar's former opening partner Virender Sehwag called on the United Nations to declare the day World Cricket Day in honour of the sportsman.

During his cricketing career and following his retirement in 2013, Tendulkar has used his fame to impact various causes that go beyond the sport. He has sponsored over 200 underprivileged children through the Mumbai-based NGO Apnalaya and has been associated with the Crusade Against Cancer foundation.

On the occasion of his birthday, IBTimes UK lists five of his most moving quotes:

1. If efforts to do social work are couched in selfish motives, then they will die a premature death. Why would my efforts get politicised? I have values I inherited from my father. He helped many. Anyone, even a postman knocking on our door would get a glass of water and some sweets.

2. Schools across India do not have teachers, libraries, playing grounds and even toilets. I do not want to see empty classrooms, empty libraries. I do not want to see cattle grazing on fields meant to be cricket or football grounds.

3. Isn't cricket supposed to be a team sport? I feel people should decide first whether cricket is a team game or an individual sport.

4. If you remain humble, people will give you love and respect even after you have finished with the game. As a parent, I would be happier hearing people say, "Sachin is a good human being" than "Sachin is a great cricketer" any day.

5. And that is the reason why this victory is great, because different players have made contributions to the win.