Indian cricket legend Rahul Dravid was awarded the Padma Bhushan today by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, for his outstanding contribution to the sport.
The Padma Bhushan is India's third highest civilian honour, after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan. The awards were announced in January 2013.
Today's ceremony was of the first batch of awards being conferred. Two Padma Vibhushan, 10 Padma Bhushan and 42 Padma ShrI awards were given to personalities from different professional backgrounds for their contribution to the nation.
The government had come out with a list of 108 Padma awardees this year - In all four personalities were awarded Padma Vibhushan, 24 for Padma Bhushan and 80 Padma Shri. Nobody was named for Bharat Ratna for this year.
Last year, Dravid was once again overlooked for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna – the nation’s highest sporting honour, losing out to Olympic medal winners –Shooter Vijay Kumar and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt.
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Dravid, a former India captain, retired from international cricket on March 9th 2012. He has 13288 Test runs at an average of over 52, 210 Test catches and 10889 ODI runs to his name.
Dravid is presently representing the Rajasthan Royals in the ongoing Indian Premier League. He is the captain of the team. Rajasthan Royals plays their inaugural IPL 6 game against Delhi Daredevils at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium tomorrow.
Pranab Mukherjee presents the Padma Bhushan to Rahul Dravid during the (AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN)