Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and star cueist Pankaj Advani on Monday received the coveted Padma Bhushan award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. The day was the seventh anniversary of India’s world cup triumph at Wankhede stadium way back in 2011, and it turn out to be a sweet co-incidence for captain cool.
Dhoni was seen dressed smartly in his official uniform of the Territorial Army for the ceremony, marched to receive the honour while his wife Sakshi proudly cheered for him. Dhoni also holds the rank of Honorary Lieutenant Colonel, and is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to be conferred with the third highest civilian award.
Regarded as one of the most successful Indian captains of all time, Dhoni had led India to 2007 T20I World Cup victory, the famous CB series in Australia, 2011 Cricket world cup and 2013 Champions trophy.
Dhoni bid adieu to Test cricket in 2014 before stepping down from limited-overs captaincy in January 2017, thus handing the captaincy across all formats to Virat Kohli.
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Advani, on the other hand, is also considered as the leading cueist in the world currently. He is a 19 time world champion, including winning gold twice at the Asian Games in 2006 and 2010.
Folk artist Sharda Sinha, contemporary Indian artist Laxman Pai and former Ambassador of Russia to India, Alexander Kadakin (posthumously), were also presented with the Padma Bhushan.