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Dravid is Sports Personality of 2003

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February 22, 2004 23:46 IST

India's dependable batsman Rahul Dravid won Sony TV's International Sports Personality of the Year award for 2003.

Dravid edged former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram and compatriot, ace tennis star Leander Paes, to win the coveted award at a gala function at the Hilton Park Lane on Saturday night.

"This is a very deserving award and Dravid is one of the great all-timers," former England captain Mike Gatting said receiving the award on Dravid's behalf.

Dravid, popularly called 'The Wall', is considered one of the technically most gifted batsmen in the world cricket.

The year 2003 has been a fantastic year for him, one of the highlights being an impressive 242 against Australia while leading India to a historic four-wicket victory in the second Test in Adelaide.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Asif Iqbal received the 'Lifetime Achievement Award'.

Nine-year-old Sahil Agarwal, a budding cricketer, was adjudged Young sports personality of the year while 11-year-old Humzah Mahmood, an upcoming tennis star was given the Junior Sports Personality of the Year award.

In the women's category, 17-year-old Athisha Lohendran, a rowing champion, got the Junior Sports Personality of the Year award.

Other award winners were Jaspal Singh Khaira (up and coming sports personality of the year), 76-year-old Ajit Singh Kalirai (outstanding achievement award), HM Prison Service (team of the year), Jagtar Singh Johal (coach of the year) and Jawaid Khaliq, current welterweight world champion (sports personality of the year).

A framed mini-cricket bat, signed by Indian cricketers including including Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, was auctioned for 2,700 pounds. The fund would go for the benefit of Lord's Taverners.

Keith Vaz, MP, former Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth, was among the prominent personalities present on the occasion.

Rajan Singh, Executive vice president of Sony Television said since the inception of the awards in 2001, the event has become a huge success.

"It is clearly evident that the future of British Asians in the sporting world is looking healthier," he said.

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