The BCCI has decided to recommend the names of former Indian captain Rahul Dravid and opener Gautam Gambhir`s names for the prestigious Padma Bhusan and Padma Shri awards respectively. According to a BCCI official, president N Srinivasan and secretary Sanjay Jagdale were supposed to discuss the issue and forward the names to the government.
"Dravid and Gambhir`s names were discussed earlier and president and secretary were to take a final call in this regard. The last date for filing nominations was August 15 and the names have been sent" a BCCI official said. Dravid was earlier in line to get the Rajiv Khel Ratna award but the only cricketer in the panel Ravi Shastri was not present during the meeting to make a strong case for the former captain. Shastri said he did not get any invitation for the meeting.
Dravid has scored more than 24,000 international runs with over 13,000 runs in 134 Tests and nearly 11,000 runs in 344 ODIs. He has scored 36 Test centuries and 12 centuries in the shorter version. Gambhir is a deserving candidate for Padma Shri having been prolific in all three forms of the game. He has already been conferred with Arjuna award and his 97 in the World Cup final last year makes his case a strong one.
Padma Bhusan is country`s third highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhusan. Sachin Tendulkar is the only cricketer to receive the second highest civilian honour in Padma Vibhusan while nine cricketers including Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Vinoo Mankad and Lala Amarnath have received Padma Bhusan.