The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has recommended Virat Kohli for Khel Ratna Awards once again while legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar has been recommended for Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports. Former India captain Rahul Dravid’s name has been sent for Dronacharya Award.
This is the second time that Kohli has been nominated for the prestigious award. His name was sent by the cricket body in 2016 as well but the award went to Rio Olympic stars PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar.
If Kohli wins the prestigious award, he will become the third Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1998) and MS Dhoni (2007) to do so. The 29-year-old Kohli had earlier been awarded the Padma Shri in 2017 and had also won an Arjuna award in 2013.
Normally, the convention for Dhyan Chand award is to confer those who have not got Arjuna award during their playing days. However Gavaskar is an Arjuna awardee.
Confirming Rahul Dravid’s nomination, CoA chief Vinod Rai told PTI, “Yes, we have sent a number of nominations in various categories to the government. Rahul is the BCCI nominee for the Dronacharya award.”
Dravid has been nominated for successfully guiding India U-19 team to World Cup title earlier this year. Under his guidance, the Colts batch of 2016 played the finals. He has worked with India A team as well and forms the bridge between international and junior cricket.
BCCI had stopped sending nominations for Dronacharya awards due to multiple coaches at times claiming credit for a player’s success but reverted the decision after Kohli’s coach got the award. “It happened when a former India opener had signed two nominations where coaches claimed that the player worked under them. From then, we had stopped sending nominations,” a senior BCCI official said. “However when Rajkumar Sharma (Kohli coach) got Dronacharya award, it was a personal nomination. He was not BCCI nominee. For someone of Rahul’s stature, we have decided to depart from convention,” the official added.
Earlier, BCCI had recommended the names of Smriti Mandhana and Shikhar Dhawan, openers in the Indian women’s and men’s national teams, respectively, for the Arjuna award.