Bangalore, Jun 8: The Union Sports Ministry on Thursday claimed that it had informed the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about the awards and the last date for sending nominations.
BCCI had blamed the sports ministry for not sending the official forms to nominate cricketers for this year's Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards, while the Indian board also admitted that it had not nominated any cricketer for the awards this year, despite their World Cup triumph last year.
Moreover, the Joint secretary in the ministry Rahul Bhatnagar has said the ministry had sent letters to all sports organisations, state governments, SAI, sports promotion boards on January 28, requesting them to send the nominations for Arjuna, Khel Ratna, Dronacharya, Dhyan Chand and other awards latest by April 30.
"These were duly despatched to all these organizations including the BCCI. The same was also placed on the website of the ministry. This is the procedure which is followed every year and the same was done this year too. All federations are well aware of it," he said in a statement.
While Bhatnagar also pointed out that, under secretary SPS Tomar had also reminded all the federations including the BCCI, in the third week of April about the last date for sending the nominations.
"Tomar specifically spoke to the BCCI official in Mumbai. He was informed by the official concerned that they would take necessary action. However no nomination has been received from BCCI, while a large number of nominations have been received from other sports federations," he said.
Unfortunately, BCCI was held-up with the cash-rich Indian Premier League then, which did not allow them to send the nominations, as Indian players, despite their sensational World Cup win in 2011, Virat Kohli, being one of the top run-scorers last season would not be considered for the prestigious Arjuna awards this year.
Talking about the issue, BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale had said "We wish to clarify that unlike every year, the BCCI has not received any forms for nominating cricketers for the Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards. It has been the practice of the sports ministry to send the forms well in advance to nominate in the given format, which includes the players' acceptance and the BCCI's recommendation."
However, the sports ministry has received a few nominations from the state governement recommending cricket coaches for the Dronacharya award.