An Australian politician has questioned Prime Minister Julia Gillard's decision to award an Order of Australia to iconic Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar for his contribution to sport.
Federal Independent MP Rob Oakshott who expressed his love for Little Master, said the special award should not be used for diplomatic gain, the ABC news reported.
"I love Sachin Tendulkar, I love cricket. But I just have a problem with soft diplomacy as you call it," he said, adding "Getting in on the act of the Australian honours."
Oakeshott said the Order should be focused on recognising Australians doing community work instead.
"I'm not going to die in a ditch over it...but it's about the integrity of the honours list which should be for Australians," he said.
He said that Tendulkar was an "obvious diplomatic touch point", and further suggested setting up an inter-nation gong, such as an "Australia-India award".