Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has revealed the level of his excitement after receiving the Padma Bhushan Award, the country's third-highest civilian award.
Dhoni, who impressed one and all by receiving the award dressed in an army uniform, said he was honoured for the recognition and thanked the soldiers and their families for their sacrifices.
"An honour to get the Padma Bhushan and receiving it in Uniform increases the excitement ten folds. Thanks to all the Men and Women in Uniform and their families for the Sacrifices they make so that all of us could enjoy our Constitutional Rights. Jai Hind."
It was a happy coincidence for Dhoni on Monday as he was conferred with the prestigious civilian honour on the seventh anniversary of India's famous World Cup triumph in 2011. With 10 balls to go in the final match against Sri Lanka at the Wankhede Stadium, the then-captain Dhoni ended India's 28-year wait with a massive six.
The Indian Territorial Army had conferred the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel to Dhoni on November 1, 2011, months after the country lifted its second World Cup under his leadership.
The 37-year-old Dhoni is the second Indian cricketer after Kapil Dev to receive this honour.
As his name was announced, Dhoni marched past the dignitaries present at the Rashtrapati Bhavan before receiving the honour from President Ram Nath Kovind.
A lot like his batting in his heydays, Dhoni looked pretty much at ease as he walked towards the dais wearing the army uniform.
Dhoni has been the recipient of many awards, including the ICC ODI Player of the Year award in 2008 and 2009 (the first player to win the award twice), the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007 and the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian honour in 2009.