The Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) on Tuesday nominated Indian Test captain Virat Kohli for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Ajinkya Rahane has been recommended for the Arjuna award.
It is after a gap of four years that the BCCI has recommended a cricketer for the Khel Ratna. In 2012, the BCCI had recommended the name of former India captain Rahul Dravid for the Khel Ratna, but wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and shooter Vijay Kumar were conferred with the honour for winning medals at the London Olympics the same year. Dravid later received the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian honour, in 2013.
Kohli, who received the Arjuna Award in 2013, got the nomination from the BCCI after he almost single-handedly guided India to the World T20 semifinals, where the team lost to West Indies.
The Khel Ratna carries a cash reward of Rs 7.5 lakh along with a citation, while the Arjuna award consists of a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation.