A day after DNA reported the BCCI’s decision not to recommend any player for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna or Arjuna Awards, the cricket board blamed the sports ministry for not sending them the requisite forms.
“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 the BCCI to nominate in the given format, which includes the players’ acceptance and the BCCI’s recommendation. Under the circumstances, the BCCI is not in a position to recommend deserving cricketers for the awards like every year,” the board said in a release.
The ministry, in turn, blamed the BCCI for not keeping the dates in mind. “The ministry of youth affairs and sports sent a circular on January 28 by post, inviting nominations from all national sports federations including the BCCI. In addition, ministry officials contacted the BCCI office and others NSFs over the phone in mid-April, reminding them to send the nominations before April 30. Besides this, the circular and the form were made available on the ministry’s website,” a senior ministry official told DNA.
“Anyone can come and check our records,” he added. When asked why the BCCI was in denial mode, the official blamed it on the board’s pre-occupation with IPL matches. “The IPL is more important to the BCCI than anything else. The practice of making forms available online is known to everyone. Where is the question of not remembering such an important matter?” the official wondered.
However, BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty denied the ministry’s claims.