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Lt Col Dhoni & Lt Col Bindra!

New Delhi: His team may have been drubbed in England, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to military honours in India.

The India captain, along with Olympic gold medallist Abinav Bindra, are to be made honorary Lieutenant Colonels in the army. Dhoni will be a Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army, an honour which was also conferred on India’s first World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev.

Sachin Tendulkar was last year conferred the rank of an honorary Group Captain in the air force by Air Chief Marshal PV Naik (now retired). A Group Captain in the IAF is equivalent to a Colonel a notch higher than the rank that Dhoni is being conferred in the army.

“President Pratibha Patil has granted the honorary rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Territorial Army to the captain of Indian cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the ace shooter Abhinav Bindra,” a defence ministry spokesperson said.

“The honour has been bestowed on Dhoni and Bindra for their outstanding contribution in the field of cricket and shooting respectively, and their commitment to the Army on various occasions,” an official statement said.

Dhoni captained India to World Cup triumph earlier in the year. He also led the Indian team to glory in the inaugural edition of the World Twenty20, in 2007.

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