Bhopal: Indian hockey skipper Rajpal Singh on Monday said that Major Dhyan Chand deserved to be the first sportsperson in the country to get Bharat Ratna.
"Bharat Ratna is not given for encouraging any particular sport. It is a matter of honour and the hockey legend, also known world over as its magician, deserves the prestigious award the most," Singh told reporters at the TT Nagar stadium here.
"There is no player of his stature, neither before nor afterwards," he added.
The Indian team has arrived in the city for attending a felicitation function organised by the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan this evening in honour of the team`s victory in the Asian Champion`s Trophy last year.
Chouhan will present an award of Rs one lakh each to the members of the winning team, State`s Sports Director Shailendra Shrivastava said.
He will also honour members of the Berlin Olympics team and present each of their families Rs one lakh, he said.
Chouhan will also felicitate former Olympians Ashok Kumar, Jalaluddin Rizvi, Sameer Daad, Abdul Gafoor, Mohammad Yusuf, Salim Abbasi, Khurshid Ali and Altaf-ur-Rehman.
The Chief Minister will also felicitate the state junior and sub-junior women`s hockey teams for winning the national championship and present the team members a cash award of Rs 10,000 each.