Bangalore, Jul 7: Former India batsman GR Viswanath felt Rahul Dravid deserves to get the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recommended the former India captain for the honour on Saturday.
Dravid's Profile Page
Viswanath, who was one of the role models for Dravid when he was growing up, said that "The Wall" "richly deserved" the highest sports award in India.
"We will be forwarding the names of Rahul Dravid for Khel Ratna Award and Yuvraj Singh for the Arjuna Award next week (to the government)," BCCI's CAO Prof Ratnakar Shetty said on Saturday.
"Absolutely. He is the best person to received this award. He has just finished his glorious career of 17-18 years. Not only for India, he has done great service to Karnataka cricket as well. He richly deserves this award," Viswanath told Thatscricket on Saturday.
Dravid, who retired from international cricket in March this year, has scored more than 24,000 runs at the international level. He represented India in 164 Tests and 344 One Day Internationals.
So far, only two cricketers have been awarded Khel Ratna. Sachin Tendulkar was the first to be bestowed with this honour in 1997-98 while Indian captain MS Dhoni joined the Master Blaster in 2007-08. The award was instituted by the government in 1991-92.