“We had to name just one sportsperson for the Bharat Ratna and it was Dhyan Chand. With all due respect to Tendulkar, Dhyan Chand is a legend in Indian sports. And it was logical to recommend Dhyan Chand for the Bharat Ratna since we have named every other trophy after him,” Pradip Deb, secretary sports, told IANS.
Hockey India (HI), which had recommended Dhyan Chand’s name earlier this year, was also elated.
“It is a proud moment for Indian hockey. We sincerely hope that he is given the award,” Narinder Batra, secretary general of Hockey India (HI), said.
Dhyan Chand, who won three gold medals at the Olympics — in 1928, 1932 and 1936 — is widely considered as the greatest hockey player the world has ever seen.