Sachin Tendulkar may have won countless awards but the master batsman on Saturday said all those trophies pale in comparison to India's second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan.
"I have won many awards and trophies but this is right at the top," Tendulkar said after the third day's play in the ongoing fourth and final Test against Australia.
"... I came to know about it yesterday through my wife. I was extremely excited by it but since I was in the middle of the match, it was important to keep my focus on the game," he added.
Tendulkar said being conferred the second highest civilian honour was like a dream realised for him.
"It's truly a great honour to accept this award as this is recognized by the government of India. I have played for so many years and when government of India recognises your effort, gives you the second highest civilian award in the country, it's very, very special," he gushed.
"It means a lot to me to get this award alongside such great personalities. It's truly something which I can only dream of," he said.
The champion batsman also congratulated the other awardees.
"I want to take this opportunity to congratulate other awardees. It's fantastic to be in the same list," he said.
Tendulkar was among five other top sportspersons, including chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, to have been selected for the Padma awards on Friday.