The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to send in the names of R Ashwin and Mithali Raj for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the country's highest sporting honour.
The Indian cricket board will also recommend the names of senior batsman Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, and pacer Jasprit Bumrah for the Arjuna Award PTI news agency reported.
Mithali Raj is India's inspirational women's Test cricket captain while R Ashwin is the country’s premier off-spinner. Both the players have been awarded Arjuna Award in the past.
Women’s cricket great Mithali Raj completed 22 years in international cricket last week. The 38-year-old is also the leading run-getter in ODIs with more than 7,000 runs.
Ashwin has also been a consistent performer for India in Test cricket. He has taken 413 wickets in 79 Test matches besides 150 and 42 scalps in ODIs and T20s though he doesn't play for India in the shorter formats.
"No women cricketer has been nominated for Arjuna. Mithali's name has been recommended for Khel Ratna," a BCCI official told PTI.
For Arjuna Award, Dhawan, who will be captaining India in the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka, is a frontrunner, according to the news agency. The 35-year-old southpaw has scored 5,977 runs in 142 ODIs besides 2,315 and 1,673 Test and T20 runs respectively.
The Sports Ministry had earlier decided to extend the deadline for submitting the nominations for the annual National Sports Awards by one week to July 5. Originally, the deadline for the National Sports Federations (NSFs) to send their nominations for the same was June 28.
"The last date for receipt of nomination has been extended from 28th June 2021 to July 5, 2021," PTI had reported citing a Sports Ministry circular.