The Rajiv Gandhi Khel ratan award, which started in be called the major Dhyan Chand Khel ratan award. India’s highest sporting dignity Khel Ratna Award, which was named after prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, was on Friday hockey wizard Dhyan Chand following the admirable performance of both men’s and women’s hockey teams in the Tokyo Olympics.

Making the announcement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he had been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand.

“Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award! Major Dhyan Chand was among India’s foremost sportspersons who brought honor and pride to India. It is fitting that our nation’s highest sporting honor will be named after him,” he tweeted

Major Dhyan Chand was an Indian field hockey player widely regarded as the greatest in the history of the sport. He was known for his extraordinary goal-scoring feats, in addition to earning three Olympic gold medals, in 1928, 1932, and 1936, during an era where India dominated field hockey. His influence extended beyond these victories, as India won the field hockey event in seven out of eight Olympics from 1928 to 1964.

The exceptional performance of the men’s and women’s Hockey teams has captured the imagination of our entire nation, the prime minister said, adding that there is a renewed interest in the sport that is emerging across the length and breadth of India.

This is a very positive sign for the coming times, he said.

The Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award comes with a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh and a certificate.