Former India opener Gautam Gambhir was honoured by the Government of India on the eve of Republic Day as it was announced that he would be conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri award. It is the fourth-highest civilian award in the Republic of India, behind Bharat Ratna, Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan.
Apart from Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri (football), Sharath Kamal (table tennis), Bajrang Punia (wrestler), Harika Dronavalli (chess), Bombayla Devi (archer), Prashanti Singh (basketball) and Ajay Thakur (kabaddi)were among the recipients for the the Padma Shri awards announced on Friday (January 25).
Gambhir, who made his international debut way back in 2003, has scored more than 10,000 international runs for India. The southpaw is particularly known for his credentials in two of India’s most treasured ICC triumphs – 2007 ICC World T20 and 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. He was the highest run-scorer for India in the final of both the ICC events and it was those two knocks (75 in WT20 and 97 in CWC) that paved the way for India’s momentous world cup glory.
In a career spanning over a decade, Gambhir scored 4154 Test runs for India in 58 matches at an average of 41.95, including 9 centuries and 22 fifties. He also proved his mettle in the limited-overs format, scoring 5238 ODI runs in 147 games and 932 T20I runs in 37 matches. Gambhir boasts 11 one-day international tons to his name besides scoring 34 ODI fifties and 7 T20I fifties.
In 2009 Gambhir was named as the ‘ICC Test Player of the Year’ for his spectacular performances throughout the year.
Here’s the full list of recipients of the Padma awards in the sports category:
Bachendri Pal – Mountaineering
Gautam Gambhir – Cricket
Sunil Chhetri – Football
Harika Dronavalli – Chess
Sharath Kamal – Table Tennis
Bambayla Devi – Archery
Prashanti Singh – Basketball
Ajay Thakur – Kabaddi
Bajrang Punia – Wrestling