New Delhi: Former captain of the Indian cricket team Rahul Dravid and London Olympics bronze medallist boxer MC Mary Kom will be awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna and the Padma Vibhushan - the government of India announced on Friday.
Dravid, who retired last year from cricket, scored close to 25,000 international runs. The prolific Indian batsman has made 13,288 runs in 164 Tests at an average of 52.31 while racking up 10,889 runs in 344 ODIs, averaging 39.16. He is also the third highest run-scorer in the history of Test cricket.
The 29-year-old Mary Kom won a bronze medal at the London Olympics - becoming the first Indian woman boxer to do so. She is also the five-time former world champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships.
"I am surprised that I got this award because my name was not there at all. It is a big honour for me to be considered for this award and I feel truly humbled. It is no doubt a proud moment for me," Mary Kom said.
"Although boxing is going through difficult times, personally this has been a great achievement and I feel elated that all my efforts have got the recognition," she added.
Apart from the Padma Bhushan, six other Indian sportspersons were named to receive Padma Shri award. These include mountaineer Premlata Agrawal, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, para-athlete Hosanagara Nagarajegowda Girisha, London Olympics silver medallist shooter Vijay Kumar, boxer Dingko Singh and rower Bajrang Lal Takhar.
The government gave due consideration to the achievements of sportspersons at the London Games while naming the winners. Armyman Vijay won a silver medal in the 25m rapid fire pistol event while Yogeshwar won a bronze in the 60kg freestyle wrestling category.
Para athlete Girisha jumped a height of 1.74m in the final of the men's High Jump at the London Paralympics to finish in the silver medal position in the competition.
Wrestler Sushil Kumar, who became the first Indian to win back-to-back Olympic medals, was not considered since he had won the Padma Shri in 2011 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2009.
(With inputs from PTI)