Terming the Padma Bhushan award "an honour and privilege", former India cricket captain Rahul Dravid on Thursday said he felt lucky to have represented the country for 16 years.
"It is a great honour. When you start playing you don't think about the awards. You just play because you just love it and there is no reason why you start playing this game.
"But along the way when you get awards and recognitions from the government of India, from the people of this country... it is a great privilege and honour," said Dravid during a felicitation ceremony organised by Rupa and Company Ltd in Kolkata.
President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the country's third highest civilian award Padma Bhushan on the 40-year-old Dravid April 5.
The ace batsmen humbly acknowledged the opportunity to play cricket for India, a sport which is virtually a religion in this country.
"I am very lucky that I had the talent to play cricket for this country. It is the number one sport in this country... virtually a religion, and I feel privileged to have played for my country.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more and on top of that to get the recognition and honour is truly a big privilege," added the Rajasthan Royals captain.
Rajasthan Royals take on home team Kolkata Knight Riders in a T20 League outing at the Eden Gardens here May 3.