In what is nothing more than what he deserves, the Board of Cricket Control in India has nominated the in-form test skipper for the Indian national team for the nation’s biggest sporting honor.
The RCB batsmen who recently scored his first century in T20 cricket is nominated by the BCCI for the Rajuv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year.
Back in 2012, Rahul Dravid was the last cricketer to be nominated for this award but the Karnataka player wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt and shooter Vijay Kumar ran away with the awards after a superb spell in the Olympics for the country.
And it is now understood that after 4 years, the BCCI has once again pushed forward a name for the award this year.
Over the past 12 months, Virat Kohli who won the Arjuna award in 2013 has been the backbone of the Indian national side.
He helped the team to a series victory against Sri Lanka before dismantling the South African side to a 3-0 victory at home.
He has been in prolific run-scoring form and was simply unplayable in India’s tour to Australia at the end of last year. He carried that form into the Asia Cup helping his team lift the cup and played a huge role in getting the Men in Blue into the semi-final of the recently concluded World T20.
The 27-year old was named the ‘Man of the Tournament’ for the World T20 where he was the highest run-getter with 273 runs at an average of 136.50 and a strike rate of 146.77.
He scored three half centuries in the competition and his innings against Pakistan and Australia will remain in the memories of the Indian fans for a long time in the future.
Kohli was also named the captain of the ICC World T20 XI and it comes as no surprise that he is nominated for the Khel Ratna award.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games and Incheon Asian Games gold medallist shooter Jitu Rai, ace golfer Anirban Lahiri, squash sensation Dipika Pallikal and women’s 800m athlete Tintu Luka are also said to be in the running for the grand award leaving Kohli with some tough competition this year.
Kohli will become just the third cricketer to win the award if he does after Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and MS Dhoni (2007) and will write himself in the books of Indian history with bold ink.
“We have received the recommendations from the BCCI. Their names will be sent to the awards selection committee,” a sports ministry official said
While the27-year old was nominated for the biggest honor in the nation, middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane was recommended for the Arjuna award.
Rahane has been one of the most consistent players in the bigger formats of the game and though he lost his place in the World T20, he is surely an important part of India’s plans in the years to come.
His consistency is now rewarded with a chance to win the Arjuna award that was snatched up by Rohit Sharma in the previous year.
Among the Arjuna award hopefuls, archer Laxmi Rani Manjhi, athletes Lalita Babar, OP Jaisha, and hooters Apurvi Chandela and PN Prakash are in the fray.
The Khel Ratna carries a prize money of Rs 7.5 lakh along with a citation while the Arjuna award consists a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh and a citation.