Zaheer Khan to be conferred Padma Shri Award

India's second-most successful fast bowler to get the fourth highest civilian award.

Former India and Mumbai fast bowler Zaheer Khan has been conferred with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award given for a distinguished service in any field, the ministry of home affairs announced on Saturday.

Zaheer Khan picked up 311 Test wickets in 92 matches for India and 282 scalps in 200 ODIs and also represented his nation in 17 T20Is in an international career that spanned 14 overs. As of now, he is the fifth-highest wicket-taker in Tests for India and the second-most successful fast bowler for his nation after Kapil Dev and the fourth overall on the list of Indian bowlers in ODIs.

His first-class career spanned 169 matches where he bagged 672 wickets in a domestic career that involved representing Mumbai as well from 2006 to 2014. The 41-year-old has also played 100 matches in the Indian Premier League where he picked up 102 wickets.

In the 2011 World Cup, which India lifted, he was India's leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 21 scalps to his name in matches, highlighted by two five-wicket hauls. For his efforts, he was conferred India's second-highest sporting award, the Arjuna Award, that year.

During the inaugural season of the T20 Mumbai league in 2018, Zaheer Khan served as the mentor of the SoBo Supersonics team.

Other notable Padma Shri recipients in the past have been Sachin Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Sunil Gavaskar, and Dilip Vengsarkar among others.

Sachin Tendulkar is also the recipient of the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, becoming the youngest to receive one at the age of 40 in 2014. The T20 Mumbai league ambassador is also the recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the second-highest civilian award given to recognise exceptional and distinguished services.

Sunil Gavaskar is also the recipient of the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country given for distinguished service of high order.

The award will be conferred by Ram Nath Kovind, the President of India, at a ceremonial function that will be held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan around March or April. This year 7 Padma Vibhushan, 16 Padma Bhushan and 118 Padma Shri Awards will be conferred.

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