Former India captain MS Dhoni and billiards and snooker star Pankaj Advani were conferred the prestigious Padma Bhushan award at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Former Indian captain MS Dhoni and star cueist Pankaj Advani received Padma Bhushan awards at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Monday. Both Dhoni and Advani have accumulated a host of accolades in their respective careers. While Dhoni’s achievements in cricket are well known, Advani is regarded as the best billiards/snooker player to have ever come out of India. He has won eight world titles in as many years and a total of 19.
He recently defended his Asian Billiards Championships title in style by beating his practice partner B Bhaskar 6-1 in the summit clash in Yangon, Myanmar. This means that he remains the Indian, Asian and world champion in billiards for 2017-18. Advani had voiced his discontent at being ignored for the Padma Bhushan in 2017. Then Sports Minister Vijay Goel had congratulated him for winning the Billiards nationals on Twitter to which Advani replied, “Thank you sir. Just feel after 16 world titles and 2 Asian games golds if I’m ignored for a padma bhushan, don’t know what more I need to do (sic.),” he tweeted.
— ANI (@ANI) April 2, 2018
MS Dhoni is regarded as one of the most successful Indian captains of all time. He was made skipper of the Indian T20I side in 2007 before the inaugural T20I World Cup which India went on to win. He was then made ODI captain and became the Test captain after the retirement of Anil Kumble. He led India to the top of the Test rankings, the first time the team reached the position and led India to the World Cup in 2011. He was the first Indian captain to do so since Kapil Dev in 1983. He also led India to the Champions Trophy 2013. He retired from Test cricket in 2014 and in January 2017, relinquished limited overs captaincy too leading to Virat Kohli taking over in all three formats. He is still regarded as one of the best wicket keepers in the world and is expected to be part of the Indian team that play in the 2019 ICC World Cup. Dhoni is the 11th Indian cricketer to win the Padma Bhushan and the first since Rahul Dravid in 2013.