The National Sports Day is only days away but the discontent refuses to die. HN Girisha, one of the athletes who had applied for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna but missed out to Sania Mirza, approached the Karnataka High Court seeking a stay on the award.
The court has sent a notice to the sports ministry seeking clarification on the criteria for shortlisting an athlete for the country’s highest sports honour.
The awards committee, constituted by the ministry, mainly used two clauses to zero in on Sania.
The first clause states, “The equivalence of any other sports discipline/tournament, not listed by the ministry, will be decided by the selection committee with reference to the ones mentioned in the list and points will be allotted accordingly.”
The second point states the selection committee is not bound to stick to the points system (It may not mechanically recommend Khel Ratna to the recipient of the highest marks).
It may be mentioned that Sania’s long list of titles on the WTA Tour is not under the criteria for scoring points else she would be far ahead of Girisha.