If awarded, the 36 year-old will become the 11th Indian cricketer to be conferred with the country’s third highest civilian honour
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Wednesday, announced that it had unanimously endorsed the nomination of Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the prestigious Padma Bhushan title, the third highest honour conferred by the Indian government on civilians.
The 36-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman is the only cricketer whose name the BCCI has recommended for next year’s Padma Awards, the nomination process for which ended on September 15. The process of submitting nominations and recommendations had begun on May 1while those chosen by the government for the honours will be awarded on the eve of the Republic Day next year as per convention.
“Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been nominated by the BCCI for the Padma Bhushan award. It was a unanimous decision by the members. He has been one of the greatest names in contemporary cricket and the most appropriate choice of the Indian cricket board,” BCCI’s acting president CK Khanna was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
“He is one of our greatest ODI cricketers with nearly 10,000 runs. Not many players have played 90 Test matches. There is no one better than him, who could have been nominated,” Khanna added.
Dhoni is currently in Kolkata preparing for the second One Day International against Australia that is scheduled for Thursday. He hit a half century in the opening ODI in Chennai, on Sunday, as India won the rain-hit contest to take a 1-0 lead in the five-match series.
If Dhoni is conferred with the Padma Bhushan, he will become the 11th Indian cricketer to be awarded the honour. He will then join the elite club of other Padma Bhushan awardees like
Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Chandu Borde, DB Deodhar, CK Nayudu, Lala Amarnath, Raja Bhalindra Singh of Patiala, who played 13 first-class matches, and Vijaya Anand – the Maharaja of Vizianagram – who was India’s captain during their 1936 tour to England.
Often hailed as ‘captain cool’ for his calm composure during the time he led the Men in Blue as their captain, Dhoni has scored 9737 runs in 302 ODIs besides 4876 runs in 90 Test matches. He has also played 78 T20 Internationals, notching up 1212 runs.
Dhoni has 16 international hundreds (6 in Tests and 10 in ODIs) to his credit along with 100 international half-centuries. As a wicketkeeper, he has held 584 catches across formats (256 in Tests, 285 in ODIs and 43 in T20 Internationals) and has also effected 163 stumpings.