Kolkata, April 26: Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli and legendary Sunil Gavaskar have been nominated for rare sports awards.
The news has been confirmed by the Board of Cricket Control for India (the BCCI). It is the BCCI which has recommended former India captain Rahul Dravid, better known as “the Wall”, for the prestigious Dronacharya award.
Having previously recommended and not succeeded, the board has again nominated Virat Kohli for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna honour. Kohli’s name was sent in 2016 but being the Olympic year, the three stars of Rio, PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Deepa Karmakar were conferred with the award.
A long overdue, the original little master legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar’s name has been recommended for Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award. Gavaskar’s contribution in Indian cricket as a player and then as a par excellence critic and commentator has been unquestionable and beyond reproach for friends and foes alike.
If decorated with the award, it will be a good first as conventionally Dhyan Chand award is conferred on those who have not got Arjuna award during their playing years, Gavaskar being an Arjuna awardee.
CoA chief Vinod Rai confirmed Dravid’s nomination for the Dronacharya award.
“Yes, we have sent a number of nominations in various categories to the government. Rahul is the BCCI nominee for the Dronacharya award”.
It was Dravid who successfully guided the India U-19 team to World Cup title early this year. Also it was under his tutelage the Colts batch of 2016 played the finals. Dravid’s contribution to work with India A team cannot be negated. Dravid has also been the most important bridge between international level and junior cricket.
BCCI had stopped sending nominations for Dronacharya awards due to multiple coaches at times claiming credit for a player’s success.
“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 said.
“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.