Dhanraj Pillay born on 16 July 1968 in PUNE, is a field hockey player and former captain of the Indian hockey team. He is currently the manager of the Indian Hockey team. Also he is a member of the adhoc committee of Indian Hockey Federation, formed after the suspension of Kanwar Pal Singh Gill.
Dhanraj Pillay was born as the fourth son of Tamil parents Nagalingam Pillay and Andalamma at Khadki in Maharashtra. As a bachelor, he lived in Powai while his parents lived in Khadki in Maharashtra.
He is fluent in Marathi, Tamil (his mother tongue), Hindi and English.
Dhanraj Pillay's debut in international hockey was in 1989 when he represented the Nation in the Allwyn Asia Cup in New Delhi.
Dhanraj Pillay, whose career spanned from December 1989 to August 2004, played 339 international matches. The Indian Hockey Federation did not keeps official statistics for the goals scored. There is no credible information on the number of International goals scored by Dhanraj. He scored around 170 goals in his career, according to him as well as leading staticians in the world. He is the only player to have played in four Olympics (1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004), four World Cups (1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002), four Champions Trophies (1995, 1996, 2002, and 2003), and four Asian Games (1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002). India won the Asian Games (1998) and Asia Cup (2003) under his captaincy. He was also the highest goal scorer in the Bangkok Asian Games and was the only Indian player to figure in the World Eleven side during the 1994 World Cup at Sydney.
He is the recipient of India's highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award for the year 1999-2000. He was awarded the Padma Shri, a civilian award in 2000. Barani is one of the most gifted forwards of his era with a small frame and flowing locks, he could wreak havoc in rival defences. He was the winning captain of the victorious Asian Games 2002 hockey team. He was awarded the player of the tournament award in the 2002 Champions trophy held at Cologne, Germany.
Pillay is currently involved in trying to start a hockey academy at Mumbai. To raise funds for his academy he is heading a drive to collect empty plastic printer cartridges in Mumbai and sell them to a European recycling firm.