Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday recommended Virat Kohli's name for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Ajinkya Rahane's name for Arjuna Award to sports ministry.
It is after a gap of four years that a cricketer has been recommended by the BCCI for the Khel Ratna.
The prestigious Khel Ratna award carries a cash price of Rs. 7.5 lakh in addition to a citation, while the Arjuna awardee receives a cash prize of Rs. five lakh and a citation.
The Indian Test skipper is enjoying a fine run of form in the ongoing Indian Premier League leading the highest run-getters’ chart. Ahead of the cash-rich league, Kohli was also named as the ICC World T20 Player of the Tournament and skipper of the ICC World T20 team.
The mainstay of India’s batting has 36 hundreds against his name in international cricket.
If Kohli wins the Khel Ratna Award, he would become only the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and Mahendra Singh Dhoni to win India’s highest sporting honour.
It is learnt that the star Indian cricketer will be up against squash champion Deepika Pallikal, golfer Anirban Lahiri, Asian Games gold medallist Jitu Rai and Tintu Luka.
Rahane, who had led Indian side in the past, is in contention to win the Arjuna Award. Rahane equalled the record of holding highest number of catches in a Test innings during India’s series win against Sri Lanka last year under Kohli’s leadership.