India’s star batsman and the current Test team captain Virat Kohli has been nominated for the Rajiv Khel Ratna Award, one of the country’s most prestigious and biggest sporting honor. His name has been recommended to the Sports Ministry by the patterning body of the Indian cricket fraternity, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Apart from him, another dependable batsman and Kohli’s team mate Ajinkya Rahane has also been nominated for another coveted sporting honor of the country, the Arjuna award.
Kohli has been in a phenomenal form for the last couple of years and is currently going through the purple patch of his cricketing career. The 27-year old batting legend from Delhi has already made 36 international centuries in his short stint to the international cricket and hailed as one of the greatest batsmen of current times as well as the modern era. After being crowned as the Test team captain of India last year, Kohli led from the front and took India to an impressive series victory against Sri Lanka, in Sri Lanka and the recent series win against South Africa at home.
Also check: BCCI to host the first day-night test
The year 2016 may be the pinnacle year for Virat Kohli, as per his batting forms are concerned. The current blue-eyed boy of Indian cricket has displayed superb batting class and performance and helped his team to reach to the semifinal stage of the lastly concluded T20 World Cup in India. Kohli was adjudged as the Man of the Tournament for scoring 273 runs at an average of 136.50 and a strike rate of 146.77 with three 50-plus scores Not only that, his batting prowess also helped the Indian team to win the Asia Cup for the record sixth time. Kohli is currently leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the IPL and though his team is suffering in this multi-crore tournament, Kohli is currently the highest run getter of the competition and the proud owner of the Orange Cap.
When asked about Kohli’s nomination for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, an official from sports ministry said to Cricbuzz, “We have received the recommendations from the BCCI. Their names will be sent to the awards selection committee.” If the batting sensation wins this highest sporting award of the country, he will only be the third cricketer to win this coveted Khel Ratna Award, after another batting legend Sachin Tendulkar(1997-98) and the most successful captain of India MS Dhoni(2007). BCCI last forwarded a cricketer’s name for the same honor 4 years ago, in 2012, when they nominated “The Wall” Rahul Dravid but shooter Vijay Kumar and wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt were conferred with the honor for winning medals at the London Olympics the same year.
Must Read: Is Salman Khan going to buy an IPL Team
Virat Kohli will face a stiff challenge though from the other leading Indian sports personalities of different genre. According to the sources from the sports ministry, ace golfer Anirban Lahiri, the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Incheon Asian Games gold medallist shooter Jitu Rai, women’s 800m athlete Tintu Luka and squash sensation Dipika Pallikal have also been nominated for the Khel Ratna award.
And if we talk about Ajinkya Rahane, he has been the most consistent batsman for India after Virat Kohli in the longer format of the game and provided the much needed solidarity in the middle orders. His current good form has been paid off and century in both the innings against South Africa in the Delhi test last year has made this skillful batsman a worthy contender for the Arjuna Award. He will compete against athletes Lalita Babar, OP Jaisha, archer Laxmi Rani Manjhi, and shooters Apurvi Chandela and PN Prakash for this prestigious award. Last year, another star batsman Rohit Sharma won the Arjuna award and the award comes with a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation. While on the other hand the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Award consists of Rs 7.5 lakh prize money along with a citation,