Khel Ratna Awards 2021: BCCI recommends Mithali Raj, R Ashwin, AIFF to recommend Sunil Chhetri
Mithali Raj is the Indian women's Test and ODI cricket captain, who is the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket and the only female cricketer to score more than 7000 runs in women's ODI matches.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided nominate the names of R Ashwin and women's Test and ODI skipper Mithali Raj for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The board has also decided to recommend the names of KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan for the Arjuna Award.
The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had earlier decided to provide an extension to the last date of submission of application for the upcoming National Sports Awards 2021. The last date for submitting applications was earlier set for June 21st.
The nominations from the eligible sportspersons/ coaches/ entities/ universities had to be e-mailed as per an official statement from the ministry.
• Mithali Raj is the Indian women's Test and ODI cricket captain, who has completed 22 years in international cricket.
• The 38-year-old is the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket and the only female cricketer to score more than 7000 runs in women's ODI matches.
• She is the first cricketer player to score seven consecutive 50s in ODIs and also holds the record for most half-centuries in women's ODIs.
• She became the first cricketer from India to score 2000 runs in T20Is in June 2018 and the first woman cricketer to reach 2002 WT20I runs.
• She is the recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri in 2015, the Arjuna Award in 2003 and the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World in 2017.
• R Ashwin is the country’s premier off-spinner and all-rounder. Both the players have been awarded Arjuna Award in the past.
• He is currently the highest-ranked spinner in Test cricket and the highest-ranked Test bowler for India on the ICC Player Rankings.
• Ashwin also displayed the best bowling performance for India during the World Test Championship final by taking a total of 4 wickets, two in each innings.
• He has so far taken 413 wickets in 79 Test matches besides 150 and 42 wickets in ODIs and T20s.
• He was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2014.
AIFF to recommend Sunil Chhetri's name for Khel Ratna Award
• The All India Football Federation (AIFF) will be recommending Indian captain Sunil Chhetri's name for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Bala Devi's name for Arjuna Award.
• Sunil Chhetri had surpassed Lionel Messi in the number of goals scored in international football, standing only second to Christiano Ronaldo, during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifiers.
• Messi has, however, now again gone ahead by scoring consistently in the ongoing Copa America.
NRAI to recommend Anjum Moudgil's name for Khel Ratna Award
The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) will recommend Olympic-bound rifle shooter Anjum Moudgil and Double Trap world champion Ankur Mittal's name for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the names of Elavenil Valarivan, Abhishek Verma and Om Prakash Mitharwal for Arjuna Award.
Odisha nominates Dutee Chand for Khel Ratna
• The Odisha state government on June 29, 2021 nominated ace sprinter Dutee Chand for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
• The 25-year-old had won a silver each in the 100m and 200m events in the 2018 Asian Games.
• She was conferred with the Arjuna Award last year.
• The Odisha government has also nominated Olympic-bound Indian hockey vice-captain Birendra Lakra for Arjuna Award, hockey coach Kalu Charan Choudhury for Dronacharya and former sprinter and Olympian Anuradha Biswal for Dhyan Chand award.
Khel Ratna Award 2020 winners
• The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is the country`s highest sporting honour.
• The 2020 Khel Ratna Award winners included Rohit Sharma, Manika Batra, Vinesh Phogat, Rani Rampal and Mariyappan Phangavelu. It was the first time that five sportsmen received the honour in the same year.
• Indian men's cricket team's limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma was the only cricketer among the five athletes.
• Before Rohit Sharma, only three other cricketers have won the Khel Ratna award from the cricket discipline- Virat Kohli (2018), MS Dhoni (2007) and Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98).