The Board for Cricket Control in India (BCCI) has been nominated India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) captain Virat Kohli for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the country's highest sporting honor. Rahul Dravid's name has been recommended for Dronacharya Award.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar will be nominated for Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports.
The BCCI had stopped to nominate names for Dronacharya Awards as multiple coaches claimed credit for a player's success in the past. However, the apex body of Indian cricket has broken the norms to make sure Dravid gets recognized for his contribution to the sport as coach of the U-19 and India A teams.
"It happened when a former India opener had signed two nominations where coaches claimed that the player worked under them. From then, we had stopped sending nominations," a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.
"However when Rajkumar Sharma (Kohli coach) got Dronacharya award, it was a personal nomination. He was not BCCI nominee. For someone of Rahul's stature, we have decided to depart from convention," the official added.
Will Kohli emulate Tendulkar and Dhoni?
Kohli, the top-ranked ODI, and the second-ranked Test batsman, was nominated for the same award in 2016.
Should the Delhi batsman receive the Khel Ratna, he will be the third Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1998) and MS Dhoni (2007) to be awarded the prestigious honor. Notably, para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia and former India hockey captain Sardar Singh were the recipients of the award in 2017.
Arjuna Award nominations for Dhawan, Mandhana
Meanwhile, the BCCI on Wednesday, April 25 recommended Indian cricketers Smriti Mandhana and Shikhar Dhawan's names for the Arjuna Award.
Dhawan, who has been in fine form for Indian Premier League (IPL) side Sunrisers Hyderabad in the ongoing 11th season, has been an indispensable asset across all three formats for the Indian team in recent years.
Who is Shikhar Dhawan
The Delhi batsman had risen to prominence during the U-19 World Cup in 2004 as he amassed 505 runs from seven innings. He garnered a lot of attention when he demolished the Australian bowling attack on Test debut, scoring 187 of just 174 balls in Mohali in 2013.
Dhawan though had been in and out of the team due to lack of consistency and injury concerns. However, the left-hander has cemented his spot in the limited-over formats after his comeback in Champions Trophy 2017. The 32-year-old had hit 960 runs in ODIs at a healthy average of 48 in 2017.
Mandhana key member of Mithali Raj's team
While women's cricket team opener Mandhana has also made quite the ripple in Women's International Cricket, since making her Test and One Day International (ODI) debuts in 2014 and 2016 respectively.
Her performances in the 2017 Women's World Cup helped her achieve superstardom among the cricket fans in the country. Notably, the left-handed opener, known for her elegance, hit 232 runs, including a ton, as she played a key role in India reaching the final of the quadrennial tournament.