India women ODI and Test captain Mithali Raj and men’s offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin will reportedly be recommended by the BCCI for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Besides the duo, pacer Jasprit Bumrah and batter KL Rahul will be recommended for the Arjuna Award.
The BCCI is will also recommend the name of opening batter Shikhar Dhawan who has missed out on the award on previous occasions.
“We had a detailed discussion and it was decided to send in the names of Ashwin and women’s Test and ODI skipper’s name for the Khel Ratna. We are recommending Dhawan again for the Arjuna while we will also suggest the names of Rahul and Bumrah," news agency ANI quoted a source in the know of developments as saying.
Khel Ratna is India’s highest sporting honour and in 2020, for the first time in history, five athletes including Rohit Sharma, Manika Batra, Vinesh Phogat, Rani Rampal and Mariyappan Phangavelue received the award.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had extended the deadline for sending the nominations from June 21 for the National Sports Awards 2021.
Mithali is a prolific run-getter and is widely regarded as one of the finest batters to have played the game. She has so far represented India in 11 Tests, 215 ODIs and 89 T20Is so far in her career. She has scored a combined 10,203 runs across formats including eight centuries and 77 half-centuries.
On the other hand, Ashwin is widely regarded as one of the finest bowlers of his generations having played 79 Tests, 111 ODIs and 46 T20Is so far. He has taken a combined 615 wickets across formats including 30 five-wicket hauls.
Currently, both Mithali and Ashwin are in the UK as part of the India women and men’s squads respectively for England tour.