New Delhi:India's ODI and Twenty20 captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 2007, the country's highest sporting honour.
This was decided on Monday at a 15-member committee headed by Milkha Singh. There were 6 other contenders - Marie Kolme (Boxing), A S Kamal (TT), K Shamini ((TT)), Lindse Fenny Siam (karate), and R M Shankara (Carrom). Sources in the Sports Ministry, however, informed that an official announcement would follow only after August 20.
He will be the second cricketer to recieve this prestigious award after Sachin Tendulkar.
Under his captaincy, India won the tri-series in Australia and also the World Twenty20 Championship in South Africa.
The President will give away the award, along with Arjuna and Dronacharya awards, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29.
Sharad Pawar, the BCCI President, also hailed the decision and congratulated the Ranchi-lad.
"He (Dhoni) has represented the country with distinction, and deserves the honour," Pawar said in a statement.
"His exemplary leadership and demeanour under pressure, especially in the World Twenty20 and the tri-series in Australia, mark him out as the ideal role-model for millions of young Indians," he added.
(With agency inputs)