The Indian cricket board has decided to recommend recently retired stalwart Rahul Dravid for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award and Yuvraj Singh, the player of the World Cup, for the Arjuna Award.
“We will be forwarding the names of Rahul Dravid for Khel Ratna Award and Yuvraj Singh for the Arjuna Award next week (to the government),” Prof. Ratnakar Shetty, chief administrative officer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, told PTI on Saturday.
The government had recently extended the deadline for the nominations till July 20.
The 39-year-old Dravid retired from all forms of the game at the international level following the Test series in Australia last year after having accumulated over 23,000 runs in Tests and ODIs combined since making a spectacular debut at Lord’s in 1996.
If awarded the highest sports award in the country, instituted in 1991-92, the former India captain would follow the footsteps of his illustrious ex-teammates Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007-08) as the third cricketer to win the coveted award. So far, 20 sportspersons have been bestowed the award.
Yuvraj, who has started practicing at the nets at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore after his battle with a rare form of germ cell cancer between his lungs, was India’s hero in the 2011 World Cup triumph.