New Delhi: India cricket all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has been nominated for the Arjuna Award while Ace wrestler Bajrang Punia and Para-athlete Deepa Malik will get Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2019.
A total of 19 sportspersons have been nominated for the country’s highest sporting honour including Poonam Yadav, track and field star Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, Mohammed Anas and Swapna Barman, footballer Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, hockey player Chinglensana Singh Kangujam and shooter Anjum Moudgil.
Jadeja, who has been nominated for the Arjuna Award, has played 156 ODIs, 42 T20Is and 41 Tests for India and terrific fielder is among the top 10 in both the bowler and the all-rounder’s rankings in Test cricket. Recently, Jadeja almost powered India into World Cup final but his fighting half-century went in vain as India were edged by New Zealand in the semis.
Punia recently defended his title at the Tbilisi Grand Prix as he won the gold medal by prevailing over Iran’s Peiman Bibyani in the 65kg final of the men’s freestyle competition. Whereas Deepa Malik had won bronze medals in Discus Throw and Javelin Throw at the 2018 Asian Para Games in Jakarta.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had recommended fast bowlers Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and women’s team leg-spinner Poonam Yadav for the Arjuna Award.
Notably, the Arjuna Awards are given to honour excellence in sports by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in India. In 2018, women’s cricket team star opener Smriti Mandhana was the only cricketer to receive the prestigious award.
Last year, Indian cricket team skipper Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu were awarded the Khel Ratna Award. The first recipient of the award was Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, who was honoured for his performance in the year 1991-92.