IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni led India to the 2011 World Cup win and the 2007 T20 World Championships triumph. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters
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 sport.
"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," a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
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.
The former India captain 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 Arjuna, Rajeev 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 after Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Chandu Borde, Prof DB Deodhar, Col CK Nayudu, and Lala Amarnath.
The lesser known names to hold the honour 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.