The Indian cricket board has nominated Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the country's third highest civilian award -- the Padma Bhushan -- for his contribution to the game. A senior BCCI official confirmed that the Board has only sent one name for the Padma awards this year and it was a unanimous decision to nominate India's most successful captain. "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 acting president CK Khanna told PTI.
Dhoni's credentials are impeccable and as the only Indian captain with two World titles (2011 50-over World Cup and 2007 World T20), the BCCI did not have to ponder over likely names. " He is one of our greatest ODI cricketer 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.
The BCCI has not sent any other nominations for the Padma awards this year.
The 36-year-old 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.
He has 16 international hundreds (6 in Tests and 10 in ODIs) along with 100 international half-centuries.
As a wicketkeeper, Dhoni has held 584 catches across formats (256 in Tests, 285 in ODIs and 43 in T20 Internationals). He has also effected 163 stumpings.
Dhoni is already a recipient of the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Padma Shri award.
If Dhoni is conferred with Padma Bhushan, he will become the 11th Indian cricketer to get the third highest civilian honour.
Some of the notable international cricketers, who have been the recipients of Padma Bhushan award are Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Chandu Borde, Prof DB Deodhar, Col CK Nayudu, and Lala Amarnath.
The lesser known names include 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.