The Indian sports ministry has recommended the name of country's late hockey legend Dhyan Chand over cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar as its nominee for the Bharat Ratna, media reports said on Friday.
The ministry decided to choose Chand as an active sports personality always had the chance of winning the award in 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 Times of India reported.
"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 told the news paper.
Chand is remembered for his goal-scoring feats and for his three Olympic gold medals (1928,1932, and 1936) in field hockey.
He passed away in 1979.
Bharat Ratna is India´s highest civilian award.