India's test match captain and ace batsman Virat Kohli has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the nation's biggest sporting honour, by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
Having become the go-to batsman in the Indian batting order and replacing MS Dhoni as the test captain midway through the Australian tour of 2014-15, Kohli led India to an impressive 3-0 series victory in Sri Lanka, and subsequently led the side to victory over South Africa at home by the same margin.
When it comes to T20 cricket, Kohli is currently the best batsman in the world, winning the man of the tournament trophy at the 2014 and 2016 T20 World Cups.
"We have received the recommendations from the BCCI. Their names will be sent to the awards selection committee," a sports ministry official told the press. If Kohli is awarded the prestigious honour, he will become the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1997-98) and MS Dhoni (2007-08) to receive it.
Meanwhile, Ajinkya Rahane has been recommended for the Arjuna Award, having firmly established himself as one of India's most consistent batsmen, especially in overseas conditions.
While the Khel Ratna includes a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh along with a citation, the Arjuna Award carries a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation.