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Ashwin, Mithali to be recommended by BCCI for Khel Ratna; Dhawan, Bumrah, Rahul for Arjuna Award

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna happens to be the most prestigious sporting recognition by the Indian government, preceded by the Arjuna Award. As for 2021, Indian cricketers Ashwin, Mithali, Dhawan, Bumrah Rahul have been nominated.

Ashwin Mithali to be recommended by BCCI for Khel Ratna; Dhawan, Bumrah, Rahul for Arjuna Award-ayh
Mumbai, First Published Jun 30, 2021, 5:09 PM IST
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The nominations for the 2021 edition of India'sprestigious sporting awards, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award, have begun to pour in. It is set to include some of the top cricketers, besides also having athletes from other sports fields.

As for cricket, the Board of Control for Cricket in India is all set to recommend veteran all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin and veteran Indian woman cricketer Mithali Raj for the Khel Ratna. However, it would be interesting to see if Mithali is selected by the panel appointed by the Sports Ministry.

If nominated, Mithali would become the first woman cricketer from the country to receive the honour. "No women cricketer has been nominated for Arjuna. Mithali's name has been recommended for Khel Ratna," a BCCI official told PTI.

As for the Arjuna, BCCI would be recommending senior batsman Shikhar Dhawan, along with wicketkeeper-batsman KL Rahul and pacer Jasprit Bumrah. Dhawan happens to be the frontrunner for the same, who would be leading India for the first time in the upcoming tour of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, considering the nominees from other sports, the National Rifles Association of India has recommended Ankur Mittal and Anjum Moudgil for Khel Ratna. While Mittal is the reigning double-trap world champion, rifle shooter Moudgil is Olympic-bound.

Mittal became the world champion in 2018, thus winning the Arjuna Award, while Moudgil won the silver during the world championships the same year before winning the Arjuna a year later. "The two had also been recommended in the same category last year," said NRAI in a statement.

For Arjuna, Elavenil Valarivan and Abhishek Verma have been recommended by the NRAI, as both are Olympic-bound. Also in contention is Om Prakash Mitherval, who is the 50m pistol world champion.

In wrestling, the Wrestling Federation of India has recommended world championships medallists Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia for Khel Ratna, who are currently Tokyo-bound. At the same time, Anshu Malik also happens to be in consideration.

In the meantime, Sarita Mor has been nominated for Arjuna. "All four wrestlers have done well and deserve recognition, so we have sent their application. We have also nominated coaches Vikram, Kuldeep Malik and Sujeet Maan for the Dronacharya award," told WFI assistant secretary Vinod Tomar to PTI. Also, Sajjan Singh, Jai Prakash and Dushyant Sharma have been considered for the Dhyanchand award.

Table Tennis
As for table tennis, Padma Shri winner Sharath Kamal has been recommended for the Khel Ratna by the Table Tennis Federation of India. "He is a deserving candidate for Khel Ratna. Hope he gets his due," MP Singh (TTFI advisor) was quoted as saying to PTI.

For Arjuna, Sutirtha Mukherjee has been recommended, who is presently Tokyo-bound, while Ayhika Mukherjee and Manav Thakkar are the two others to be nominated. Also, Soumyadeep Roy will be selected for Dronacharya.

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