India news January 25, 2011

VVS Laxman awarded Padma Shri

ESPNcricinfo staff

VVS Laxman has been awarded the Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour, for his services to cricket. The award was announced, in keeping with tradition, on the eve of the country's Republic Day.

"It is reward for all the hard work I have put in for my team and my country," Laxman said. "I feel honoured as I have been bestowed with one of the most prestigious awards. It is indeed satisfying that my achievements while playing for the country have been rewarded. The biggest honour, however, is the opportunity to represent my country for so many years."

Laxman joined Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Bishan Bedi, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and MS Dhoni among cricketers to have been given the award. Tendulkar has subsequently also been conferred the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest award.

Laxman has just completed a terrific year in Test cricket, during which he averaged 67.07 in 11 Tests. He played several match-winning and match-saving innings, most notably the 143 v South Africa in Kolkata, 103* v Sri Lanka in Colombo, 73* v Australia in Mohali, 91 v New Zealand in Ahmedabad and 96 v South Africa in Durban.