The Board of Control for Cricket in India has decided to recommend the World’s top-class spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and Women’s cricket special Mithali Raj for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Khel Ratna is the highest sporting honor of the Republic of India.
BCCI has also decided to forward the names of Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, and Jasprit Bumrah for the Arjuna award. BCCI official informed that no Women cricketer has been nominated for the Arjuna award. Both Ravi Ashwin and Mithali Raj are already Arjuna awardees.
Ravi Ashwin is a consistent player for India in tests. The 34-year-old right arm off-breaker has played in 79 Tests, 111 ODIs, and 46 T20Is so far since his debut in 2010. He has taken 413 wickets in tests. He is the fastest Indian bowler to reach the 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, 350, and 400 wicket mark in Test cricket in terms of the number of innings. Ravi Ashwin won the ICC Cricketer of the Year award in 2016. Currently, he ranks No 2 on the ICC rankings for test bowlers. Ashwin is also a handy batsman who contributes well with the bat.
Mithali Raj, the 38-year-old Indian skipper made her debut on June 26, 1999. At the age of 19, she scored 214 runs in her 3rd test match to break Karen Rolton’s record of highest individual test score (209 runs). Mithali Raj nicknamed “Lady Tendulkar of Indian Women’s cricket” is currently the all-time leading run-scorer for India in all three formats. During the 2017 World Cup, she scored seven consecutive half-centuries and made a record for most consecutive fifties.