According to reports, the UPA-2 government under Manmohan Singh made a last-minute decision to confer the Bharat Ratna on batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, instead of the late Indian hockey great Dhyan Chand.
The report reveals that on July 16, 2013, then-Sports Minister Jitendra Singh recommended to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) Dhyan Chand's name for the Bharat Ratna.
— #GauravPradhan (@drgpradhan) May 21, 2014
Reportedly, Dhyan Chand was the favourite to receive the award until August, when Sachin Tendulkar announced that he would be retiring from all forms of cricket. On November 14, 2013, things changed abruptly when the PMO asked the Sports Ministry to send Tendulkar's bio-data. This elicited an immediate response from the ministry, and the Election Commission had given approval for Tendulkar's name by the very next day, November 15. Professor CNR Rao's candidature was also cleared on the same day.
Interestingly, November 15 was also the last day of Tendulkar's career.