India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli and star batsman Ajinkya Rahane’s superlative performances were rewarded as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recommended the duo for this year’s prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award respectively.
“Yes, the BCCI has sent its recommendations naming Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award respectively to the Sports Ministry,” a BCCI source told IANS.
Kohli, who took over the reins of the Test side from Mahendra Singh Dhoni during last year’s Asutralia tour, has been in prolific form with the willow. He led India to an impressive series win in Sri Lanka and followed it up with a 3-0 win at home against South Africa, then the number one Test playing nation.
In 2016, Kohli stands at the peak of T20 cricket with over 1000 runs, becoming only the second Indian to do so after Suresh Raina achieved the distinction in 2012.
If Kohli is awarded the honour, he will become the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and Dhoni (2007-08) to join the list of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardees. Kohli is in midst of a phenomenal form in all formats of the game and he is proving to be a run machine. And while chasing he seems to have created a niche for himself putting him up there with a pantheon of greats of the game.
Rahane, who has been nominated for the Arjuna award, has been India’s batting mainstay in overseas conditions. With a sound technique, the right-hander proved his worth with twin centuries in both the innings of the fourth and final Test against South Africa at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi. The elegant right- hander is a vital member of the Indian team in all the formats.
The Khel Ratna comes with a cash reward of Rs.7.5 lakh and a citation, while the Arjuna award comes with a cash prize of Rs.5 lakh and a citation. (IANS)