The spat between the sports ministry and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the latter not nominating a cricketer for the Arjuna Award worsened on Wednesday with both sides accusing each other of mischief.
HT had reported on Wednesday that the BCCI had passed the blame for failing to recommend names for the prestigious award on to the ministry. However, a top ministry official said on Thursday that all federations, including the BCCI, were informed they have to recommend sportspersons for the Arjuna Award before April 30. “It was also placed on the website of the ministry. This is the procedure that is followed every year and was done this year also,” said Rahul Bhatnagar, joint secretary, sports ministry.
While the Ministry then issued a press release of the notification dated January 23, 2012, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale issued a clarification on the lines of what its chief administrative officer, Prof Ratnakar Shetty, had told this paper.
“We wish to clarify that unlike every year, the BCCI has not received any forms for nominating cricketers for the Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards of the Government of India,” Jagdale said.
“It has been the practice of the Sports Ministry to send the forms well in advance to the BCCI to nominate in the given format, which includes the players’ acceptance and the BCCI’s recommendation.