Bangalore: The Union sports ministry has chosen hockey wizard Dhyan Chand over Sachin Tendulkar as its nominee for the Bharat Ratna.
In a meeting on Wednesday, names of both superstars were discussed before Dhyan Chand, who sparked India's unmatched gold rush at the Olympics, emerged as the ministry's choice.
The ministry had weighed representations from supporters of both the greats but decided on the hockey legend, rationalising that an active sportsperson always stood a chance of earning the country's highest honour in the future.
Sports minister Jitendra Singh was also suitably impressed by a delegation led by Dhyan Chand's son Ashok Kumar, which met him on July 12 and argued in his favour. Former Indian cricket captain Bishan Singh Bedi was part of the delegation.
"The minister said he supported our views and said he would personally hand over the letter recommending my father's name for the Bharat Ratna to the Prime Minister," Ashok Kumar