The Board of Control for Cricket in India has chosen Virat Kohli for this year's prestigious Arjuna award. The stylish right-hander, who has steadily taken over as one of India's batting mainstays after the exit of stalwarts like Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, is the only nominee from the Indian cricket board in this category. Legendary former India captain Sunil Gavaskar is BCCI's choice for the Dhyanchand award (lifetime achievement).
Unlike last year where the BCCI and the sports ministry were involved in a war of sorts over timely nominations, the Board was rather prompt this time around, according to reports. The last date for receiving nominations for the Arjuna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya and Dhyanchand awards is Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
It is not surprising that Kohli, recipient of the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year award last September, is the only choice. His fighting century against Australia in the Adelaide Test in January last year, followed by his good form against New Zealand in the subsequent months, and his promotion as vice-captain for the Asia Cup - in the 2011-12 season, have contributed to his nomination.
The two nominations received as on Monday for the Khel Ratna award were that of Paralympian HN Girisha and India hockey defender Sandeep Singh. Girisha's silver medal-winning effort in high jump at the London Paralympic Games, which fetched him the Padma Shri earlier this year, is likely to lead him to the Khel Ratna too.