The Khel Ratna Award and the Arjuna Award are two of the most significant national sporting accolades awarded to athletes in India. Every year, each sports organization has to nominate a few of their top players from the sport who have excelled in the sport for a long time and have consistently made their nation proud. All the sports organisations, such as BCCI, AIFF, etc., nominate a few players, and these names are given to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

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The BCCI (Board of Cricket Council of India) has nominated two names for the Khel Ratna award. The names of Ravichandran Ashwin and Mithali Raj have been given to the ministry by the BCCI, and they are considered to be deserving contenders for this award. Mithali Raj is one of the greatest players to grace women’s cricket and has scored more than 7000 ODI runs which no one matches to date. She has been a fantastic leader and captain for Team India and has seen the rise of Women’s cricket in India through her very eyes. She is considered the one who started this evolution and will guide and lead the team whenever they are in trouble. Ashwin is one of the greatest spinners to play for India in all formats. His variations often leave the batsmen confused and dazzled, and he has often been the key player to go for his captain. Everyone remembers his final over spell in the ICC Champions Trophy Final against England to win the game. He is still a key member of Team India in tests and has shown that his wicket-taking ability has been demonstrated over the years.

Three other players have been nominated for the Arjuna Award by the BCCI. These three lucky players are Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, and Shikhar Dhawan. Bumrah and KL are still considered to be the young, experienced players in the Indian cricket team. Both made their debut around the same time and have become a crucial part of India in all formats of the game. Both had their ups and downs but have proved to be vital when their team needed them. Shikhar Dhawan is more experienced than the two and is set to lead the country in the white ball series against Sri Lanka starting mid-July. He has been the critical opener for India for more than ten years now and has proved his worth to his country time and again. 

It is not confirmed that all five players will win the awards; the decision rests in the hands of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. But we have seen it before as well that in an unprecedented move, the prestigious Khel Ratna was awarded to five Indian sportspersons last year. Manika Batra, Rohit Sharma, Vinesh Phogat, Rani Rampal, and Mariyappan Phangavelu were awarded the previous year’s Khel Ratna. For the first time in the history of Indian sports, five Indian athletes were awarded the Khel Ratna in the same year. So there is no doubt that the decision will be taken based on performance and would be purely unbiased.