New Delhi: Hockey India (HI) Wednesday requested the sports ministry to confer legendary Dhyan Chand with the Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award in the country.
HI in a statement said it has requested sports minister Ajay Maken to consider the late Dhyan Chand for the prestigious award.
"Late Major Dhyan Chand is acknowledged as the all-time greatest player of the game of Hockey all over the world. He is probably the only Indian player for any sport to have generated a number of myths about his ability as a hockey player," HI said in a statement.
Dhyan Chand, born 1905, won three successive Olympic gold medals at Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angles in 1932 and Berlin in 1936 and was the first Indian sportsman to be conferred with the Padma Bhushan Award in 1956. He passed away in 1979 at the age of 74.
"In view of his rarest of rare achievements, there is no deserving sporting icon other than Major Dhyan Chand to be considered for Bharat Ratna," HI said in its statement.
Dhyan Chand started his international career in 1926 and retired in 1948 at the age of 42.
India's only individual Olympic champion Abhinav Bindra has also been recommended for the Bharat Ratna.