BCCI Recommends Mithali Raj’s Name For Khel Ratna Award

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Mithali Raj for Khel Ratna Award: The Board of Control for Cricket in India recommended Mithali Raj, ODI Captain of the women’s national cricket team for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award along with off-break bowler R. Ashwin. BCCI also recommended cricketers Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, and Jasprit Bumrah for the Arjuna Award.

The earlier submission date for recommendations was June 21. However, it was extended by The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the upcoming National Sports Awards 2021. As per an official statement from the ministry, the applications from the eligible sportspersons were invited for the award and they were to be e-mailed to the authorities.

A source from BCCI told ANI, “We had a detailed discussion and it was decided to send in the names of Ashwin and women’s Test and ODI skipper Mithali’s name for the Khel Ratna. We are recommending Dhawan again for the Arjuna while we will also suggest the names of Rahul and Bumrah.” 

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is considered one of the most prestigious achievements in the field of sports. Last year,  the Khel Ratna Award was bagged by Rohit Sharma, Manika Batra, Rani Rampal, Vinesh Phogat, and Mariyappan Thangavelu. It was the first time that five athletes received the honor in the same year.

All India Football Federation (AIFF) has recommended Indian footballer, Sunil Chhetri for the Khel Ratna Award. Sprinter Dutee Chand has also been nominated for the same by Odisha government.

Mithali Raj’s inspiring career

Mithali Raj is the only cricketer across men’s and women’s cricket aside of Sachin Tendulkar, to have an international career lasting more than 22 years. Raj has also played the most ODIs in women’s cricket (214) and is also the top scorer in women’s ODIs.

Raj’s cricketing career began at the age of 16. In domestic cricket Raj played for Railways. She made her international debut in 1999 against Ireland and scored a century for team India. Born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, Mithali Raj received her training in cricket from late Sampath Kumar.

At the age of 19, Raj  broke the record for the highest individual score in women’s Test cricket ever to be scored,  by scoring 209 runs against England in 2002. She is also the first female cricketer to be conferred with the Wisden India Cricketers of the Year in 2015.

During the recent series against South Africa, she became the first female cricketer to cross 7,000 runs in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) and the second woman in the world after England’s Charlotte Edwards to rack up 10,000 international runs. Read more on Mithali Raj’s illustrious career here.