The BCCI have recommended Virat Kohli for the country's highest sporting award -- the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Only two cricketers -- Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni -- have been bestowed with the honour so far.
Currently captaining the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL 2016, Kohli has been impressive in his batting for a while. The India Test skipper is the highest run-getter as of now in IPL 2016, with 433 runs over seven games (as on May 3).
Kohli's form in the Asia Cup as well as the ICC World T20 2016 was brilliant too. Apart from the T20s, the 27-year-old led India to Test series wins against Sri Lanka and South Africa last year.
The BCCI, meanwhile, has also recommended the name of India's opening batsman Ajinkya Rahane for the Arjuna Award. The 27-year-old is one of India's best batsmen in the Test match format, while he has been showing signs of improvements in the limited-overs arena as well.
Rahane is currently the top scorer for the Rising Pune Supergiants, with 280 runs from eight games.
"We have received the recommendations from the BCCI. Their names will be sent to the awards selection committee," a sports ministry official has been quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
While the Khel Ratna carries a cash reward of Rs 7.5 lakh and a citation, the Arjuna Award carries a cash reward of Rs. 5 lakh, along with a citation.
In all likelihood, Kohli will be up against Indian star shooter Jitu Rai, golfer Anirban Lahiri, athlete Tintu Luka and squash player Deepika Pallikal in the race for the major honour, reported NDTV.