Retired Indian batsman Rahul Dravid has today been selected to join the Laureus World Sports Academy as its 47th member.
As an organisation, the Laureus World Sports Academy honours the greatest living sports men and women from around the globe. The nomination for the award came from its previous 46 winners known as the ultimate sports jury.
Dravid joins a group of elite sports men and women including fellow cricketers Sir Ian Botham, Steve Waugh and Sir Vivian Richards.
Dravid, hailed as 'The Wall' and 'Mr Dependable' during his playing days, played Test match cricket for India from 1996 to 2011 making over 13,000 Test match runs and has an incredible average of 52.31 as well as being the most successful slip catcher in history.
He was known for his incredible mental ability over long durations and has the record for the longest single individual innings by an Indian batsman, his 270 runs coming from 740 minutes against Pakistan in the 2003/04 season.
Dravid was understandably overjoyed with the news and had this to say about joining the Academy.
"It is a great privilege to be invited to join the Academy and I look forward to supporting the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation.
"I am truly honoured to be recognised alongside some of the greatest sportsmen and women we have ever seen.
"Sport has given me so much, and it is wonderful to now have the opportunity to make a difference in other people’s lives."
Ex-Australian captain Waugh, who is already a member of the Laureus World Sports Academy, was happy to hear of Dravid's introduction into the Academy and had this to say on behalf of the Academy:
"On behalf of all the members of the Laureus World Sports Academy I would like to welcome Rahul.
"He achieved amazing success in an illustrious career. He was so pugnacious and determined when he was at the crease, he could have been an Aussie.
"He shares with all of us in the Academy the belief about how effective sport can be in tackling problems and bringing people together which is at the heart of the Laureus philosophy."
Another cricketing hero, Botham, was delighted to have Dravid on board and is already looking forward to working with him.
"Rahul had an incredible temperament and was a run-making machine. He was immovable and could stay there for hours. No wonder they called him ‘The Wall’," he said.
"I am delighted that he will be joining us in the Laureus Academy. I look forward to welcoming him.”
As well as voting annually for a new inductee in to the Laureus World Sports Academy, the Academy also supports the work of the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation which is a registered charity that uses sport to enhance the lives of less fortunate young adults.
Since it began, the Foundation has raised over $60 million for its causes and continues to raise even more with a range of fund-raising projects taking place all around the world.
"Thanks to funding from the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation we have been able to not only expand Urban Stars from a pilot to national programme, but have been able to create and sustain, long-term, the Urban Academy," Shinead Philpott, Laureus Urban Stars National Programme Manager, Active Communities Network, said.
"The Urban Academy underlines our commitment to progressing participants and volunteers within our projects, and more broadly to up-skilling the youth and community sports workforce and wider networks.
"As part of contributing to this network our skills are utilised internationally within the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation project portfolio as well within the wider sport for development community and the work at Christ Church C of E School today highlights how young people can progress from participating in sports sessions to becoming young leaders."
© Cricket World 2014