Agra, Nov 24 (IANS) Former India cricketer Madan Lal feels it is an opportune time to award the nation's highest civilian honour -- the Bharat Ratna -- to hockey legend Dhyan Chand.
The government announced last week that batting great Sachin Tendulkar, who retired from all forms of cricket, will become the first sportsperson and the youngest to receive the Bharat Ratna.
Since then, there has been some clamour that Dhyan Chand, who won three Olympic hockey golds, should have been given the award first among sportspersons.
"I think this is the right time to give the Bharat Ratna to Dhyan Chand," Lal said while addressing reporters here Saturday evening after the annual sports meet of the 168-year-old St. Peter's College.
Switching the topic to cricket, the former pacer said the young brigade in the Indian team comprising Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma looked promising.
"It certainly looks a difficult task for Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag to return to the team as the young players are doing a great job for the country," said Lal.
The 62-year-old also had a word of praise for Tendulkar, saying that the batting maestro has been a great role model for all and no one can replace him.
"These days players after scoring a century or taking a wicket express their intensity or emotions on the pitch. They should take lessons from Sachin."