BCCI Recommends Dhoni and Kohli for Padma Award

New Delhi: The Indian Cricket Board BCCI has recommended captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's name for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award to the Sports Ministry. The board has also pushed forward the name of out of form batsman Virat Kohli for Padma Shri Award.

The news comes at a time when the Dhoni-led Indian cricket team is going through a tough time in England, trailing 1-2 after two back-to-back demoralising defeats in the five-match Test series.

The women’s team captain Mithali Raj, has also been nominated for a Padmashri by the BCCI. It must be noted that Padma Bhushan is the third highest civilian award in India after Bharat Ratna and Padma Vibhushan but comes before Padma Shri.

Dhoni is already a Padma Shri awardee in 2009, will become the 10th cricketer to receive the honour (if the BCCI's recommendation is accepted by the government of India). while Virat Kohli is awarded with Arjuna Award. Under the captaincy of
Dhoni in limited over cricket, India won all the major ICC tournaments including the inaugural World T20 in 2007, ICC World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013 and is the only Indian captain to have all ICC titles in his pocket. Despite his poor captaincy record in foreign soil continues in the current test series vs England, BCCI felt that Dhoni is the right candidate for the award.

Meanwhile the middle order batsman Virat Kohli might be going through his worst run form in the ongoing England tour but his performances over the last year has been exceptional for the country. At just 25, he already has over 5600 runs in 134 ODIs with an average of 52 and is ranked second in ICC ODI batsmen rankings while Dhoni ranks 6th. He was also the lone star in humiliating New Zealand and South Africa tours where every top order batsman failed.

Nine other cricketers have been awarded the Padma Bhushan, including Rahul Dravid in 2013, Sunil Gavaskar and 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev. Padma Shri has been awarded to 32 cricketers so far including Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, VVS Laxman and women cricketers Jhoolan Goswami and Anjum Chopra.