New Delhi: Virat Kohli has been recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). The Indian cricket board has also recommended former India captain Rahul Dravid for the prestigious Dronacharya award after he coached India to the ICC U-19 World Cup glory in New Zealand in January. Legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar has been recommended for Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award.
India men’s and women’s team openers Shikhar Dhawan and Smriti Mandhana have been nominated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the prestigious Arjuna award, BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhury said on Wednesday. “We have sent the communication to the Government of India,” Chaudhury told reporters.
Dhawan is currently playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Sunrisers Hyderabad and has been a consistent performer across all three formats for India.
Mandhana had helped India reach the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England last year.
Gavaskar’s contribution to India cricket has been immense and he is known as the original ‘Little Master’ who batted like no other during his times.
CoA chief Vinod Rai confirmed Dravid’s nomination for the Dronacharya award.
“Yes, we have sent a number of nominations in various categories to the government. Rahul is the BCCI nominee for the Dronacharya award,” Rai said.
BCCI had stopped sending nominations for Dronacharya awards due to multiple coaches at times claiming credit for a players success.
“It happened when a former India opener had signed two nominations where coaches claimed that the player worked under them. From then, we had stopped sending nominations,” a senior BCCI official said.
“However when Rajkumar Sharma (Kohli coach) got Dronacharya award, it was a personal nomination. He was not BCCI nominee. For someone of Rahul’s stature, we have decided to depart from convention,” the official added.
India captain Kohli has been the face of the sport for some time now and is often compared to the great Sachin Tendulkar for his exploits with the bat.
Kohli has been in a good form scoring 249 runs from five matches so far this season. Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore have struggled so far in the season with two wins in six matches and are languishing in the 6th place of the eight-team points table.
Kohli had been in sensational form in 2016, smashing 973 including four hundreds and seven half-centuries from 16 matches. Next year, nursing a shoulder injury, Kohli did not play the first four matches. He returned to score 308 runs from 10 matches but it was not enough to revive a poor season for the Royal Challengers.
It was different leading up to the IPL this time. Kohli was in sensational form in South Africa – he was the highest run-scorer in the Test series and then smashed a few records in the ODIs. He led from the front and hammered 871 runs on tour including a record-breaking 558 runs in the six-match ODI series.
In six matches, he hammered 558 runs and four centuries to lead India to a historic series triumph. He played two T20Is in the three-match series next but opted out as India sent a relatively inexperienced team to Sri Lanka for the Nidahas Trophy.
(With inputs from IANS and PTI)