The former cricketer calls it "the biggest in Indian cricket" and said he was honoured to receive it.
Mumbai: Former India captain and legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar was on Wednesday, conferred with BCCI's prestigious Col C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award while Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli were also awarded for their achievements in international arena during past season.
Tendulkar was feted for his incredible achiement of scoring 100 international hundreds in Tests and ODIs combined.
Kohli won the 'Polly Umrigar Award' for the being the best Indian cricketer of the 2011-12 season in international cricket.
With it, Kohli had his name added to other stars who have received this honour previously including Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid. He was presented with a glittering trophy and a cheque of Rs 5 lakh.
VVS Laxman, who retired before the start of the home rubber against New Zealand in August was also felicitated for his stupendous achievement in international cricket for past decade and half.
The prolific batsman was also adjudged as ICC's 'ODI Cricketer of the Year' earlier.
"I am happy to receive the award in front of so many cricketers whom I have watched and got inspired by. I hope I can continue in the same way this season," said the Delhi batsman after receiving his award.
Earlier, after receiving his award, Tendulkar thanked Gavaskar and called him his inspiration for taking up the game.
"We grew up watching you. Thanks for inspiring me to play cricket. All I wanted to do was to follow your footsteps," said Tendulkar addressing Gavaskar sitting in front.
"I was 12 or so and was disappointed as I did not get the 'Best Junior Cricketer' award. I got a letter from Mr Gavaskar saying if you go through that list there is one person who did not get that award and he (Gavaskar) had not done badly in Tests," said Tendulkar.
He also thanked the BCCI for always standing by him, whether he was performing or not performing or when he was injured.
"BCCI has always stood by me. Whether I did well or not or when I was injured, BCCI has always supported me. I also thank John Wright (former India coach). He told me in 2002-03, when we were flying from Johannesburg to Durban that I should complete 100 international hundreds. I asked him, "What are you drinking? Now I am standing in front of you after scoring century of centuries. Thank you John Wright."
Laxman got a bit emotional and said that it has been three months since he called curtains to his career and it has given him a chance to look back on his 16-year old interntional career.
"As a youngster, I wanted to play for India. I realised my dream. Lots of people supported me in fulfilling it, my uncle, the Hyderabad Cricket Association for supporting me in my formative years, my wife Shailaja and my teammates in the Indian team," said Laxman.
Gavaskar described the award as "the biggest in Indian cricket" and that he was honoured to receive it (from Board President N Srinivasan). (Also see: Gavaskar's career in pics)
"I dedicate this award to the Indian cricket fans without whose support, encouragement and the occasional criticism which is a wake-up call, this would not have been possible," he said.
"Just to see the list of previous recipients of this award and to be in that list is a great honour. It feels humbling to be in that list," he said.
"I have to thank all my friends who had played tennis ball cricket, club cricket, the umpires, the local associations for helping us play so many tournaments. The BCCI president N Srinivasan and his other colleagues, the media for highlighting my scores and bringing it to the attention of the selectors and the public," said Gavaskar.
Gavaskar also recalled the incident he had mentioned in his autobiography 'Sunny Days' about how he wanted to wear a India pullover that was possessed by his maternal uncle Madhav Mantri and was told that "one needs to earn the right to wear the India pullover."
Seven former and late Test cricketers were honoured posthumously when they were conferred with the C K Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award worth Rs 15 lakh and a Trophy each.
BCCI president N Srinivasan explained the rationale and said it was felt that these cricketers would have got the award for their on-field achievements had they been alive in due course.
The seven late cricketers were: Vijay Merchant, Vinoo Mankad, Dattu Phadkar, Ghulam Ahmad, Vijay Manjrekar, M L Jaisimha and Dilip Sardesai.
Full list of award winners:
Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime achievement award: Sunil Gavaskar - Rs 25 lakh
100 int'l centuries: Sachin Tendulkar
Polly Umrigar award: Virat Kohli; Rs 5 lakh
Lala Amarnath award (Best all-rounder in the Ranji Trophy): Stuart Binny (KSCA); Rs 2.5 lakh
Best all-rounder Limited overs: Laxmi Ratan Shukla (CAB); Rs 2.5 lakh.
Madhavrao Scindia Trophy (Highest Run getter in ranji Trophy): Robin Bist; Rs. 2.5 lakh
Highest wicket-taker in the Ranji trophy: Ashoke Dinda (CAB); Rs. 2.5 lakh.
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best U-16 cricketer of 2011-12: Mohd Saif (UPCA); Rs. 50,000.
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best under-19 cricketer: Vijay Zol (Maharashtra CA); Rs. 50,000.
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best under-22 cricketer: Satyam Choudhary (MPCA); Rs. 50,000
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best woman cricketer (Sr): Anagha Deshpande (Maharashtra CA); Rs. 50,000
Best umpire in domestic cricket: S Ravi; Trophy and cheque for Rs. 50,000.
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