Virat Kohli gets ‘Khel Ratna’, but why not Bajrang Punia?

XtraTime Web Desk: It’s already been confirmed by the Sports Ministry of Indi that Indian men’s cricket team captain Virat Kohli and world champion weight lifter Mirabai Chanu will get this year’s prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. But the decision has sparked controversies as some of the Indian sports persons aren’t happy with it as they think they have been deprived from this prestigious award.

As it was reported in The Times of India, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli received ‘zero’ points by the 11-member panel who are the persons to decide that who would get the award, on the flip side of it Chanu got 44 points. Surprisingly star wrestler Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat got 80 points each but Chanu was nominated by the panel. Kohli had ‘zero’ points because there is no criteria of points in cricket which is a non Olympic sport. And that’s why his selection has created immense controversy.

Feeling dejected with this decision, Punia said he was ‘hurt’ and he has asked the panel what is the criteria of getting selected for the prestigious award.

“I am hurt for not being recognised for my talent and performances, I don’t know what was the criteria of selection for this award,” he said.

He said that he tried to reach out to Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, but did not get any reply from him. “I am going to meet him in person to enquire about the matter. Now my hopes are pinned on Rathore as I believe I am one of the eligible candidates for the award,” he said.

“I’m really disappointed and shocked. I’m meeting Sports Minister tomorrow after (mentor) Yogi bhai (Yogeshwar Dutt) spoke to him and arranged the meeting. I just want to know why I was being ignored. I want to know the reason,” he added.

Punia bagged gold medals in the recently concluded Asian Games at Jakarta and the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. “Anyone can see my record. I have performed consistently for my country. I don’t know what else is there to be done.

He also threatened to move court if he fails to convince the Sports Minister. “It would be the last option. I feel I deserve the award this year and that’s why I have applied for it. One doesn’t feel good to beg for an award but it is the biggest honour for any sportsperson and a wrestler’s career is very uncertain. Anytime an injury can end your career,” he said.

“It’s in his hands now. I want to know whether I am deserving or not. If I deserve then only give me the award,” he said ahead of his meeting with Rathore.


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