MS Dhoni nominated for Padma Bhushan Award by BCCI
What's the story?
World Cup-winning captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been nominated by the BCCI for the Padma Bhushan, India’s third-highest civilian award.
An official, close to the BCCI, told PTI that Dhoni was the solitary name the Board had recommended for the Padma awards this year.
"Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been nominated by the BCCI for the Padma Bhushan award. There was no doubt among the members that Dhoni has impeccable credentials. Two World titles (2011 50-over World Cup and 2007 World T20), nearly 10,000 runs, 90 Test matches. There is no one better than him, who could have been nominated”, the official said.
In case you didn't know...
The Padma Awards are part of the Indian honours system, and are handed out to outstanding performers in the country for their services to the nation. The Padma Bhushan ranks third, just below the Padma Vibhushan and the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian award.
In the Padma Awards ceremony held earlier this year to honour the winners of 2016, Dhoni's successor, Virat Kohli had been given the Padma Shri award. Dhoni had received the honour in 2009.
The heart of the matter
Apart from the 50-overs World Cup in 2011, Dhoni led India to the inaugural World T20 title win in 2007 and the 2013 Champions Trophy title.
In the past, Dhoni has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Padma Shri Award. Other cricketers who have been conferred with the title include Rahul Dravid, Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar.
Sachin is the only cricketer to have been awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award and the Padma Vibhushan, the second highest.
Rahul Dravid was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the then-President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, in 2013, a year after he retired from international cricket.
Dhoni received the ICC Player of the Year Award in 2008 and 2009, becoming the first player ever to win the award for two successive years. In 2011, the year he won the World Cup as captain, he was conferred the title of Lieutenant Colonel by the Indian Army, with Kapil Dev, the other Indian captain to win the World Cup, being the only other cricketer to be given the rare honour.
The Padma Bhushan, if awarded to Dhoni, will be a well-deserved recognition for the 36-year-old, who has recently been in a rich run of form with the bat, averaging close to 90 in ODIs in 2017.
Having emptied the ICC trophy cabinet with all the major silverware in his pocket, a Padma Bhushan will be a cherry on the cake of one of India's most celebrated athletes.