Sania Mirza recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award

Sania Mirza on Tuesday became only the second tennis player to be recommended for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, while star cricketer Rohit Sharma and ace shooter Jitu Rai were among the 17 sportspersons picked for this year's Arjuna awards, says a report in The Times of India.

“Sania, currently ranked world number one in women's doubles, scripted history by becoming the first Indian to clinch a women's doubles Grand Slam when she partnered Swiss great Martina Hingis for the Wimbledon trophy earlier this year. Sania is only the second tennis player after Leander Paes to be named for the top award. Paes had been bestowed the honour way back in 1996 after his bronze medal in the Atlanta Olympics. The 28-year-old, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slams in her career, beat competition from squash player Deepika Pallikal, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, track and field star Tintu Luka, rising shuttler P V Sindhu, and hockey captain Sardar Singh for the coveted honour,” adds the report.

Meanwhile, according to a report in the DNA, there was some drama when India opener Rohit Sharma's name was discussed for Arjuna Award. Justice Bali reminded everyone that a cricketer should not get the award because "cricket is not an Olympic sport and doesn't even follow the sports ministry's guidelines". Justice Bali, however, didn't have his way.

Hockey star Ritu Rani's name was dropped at the last moment to include weightlifter Satish Sivalingam. The committee had finalised 17 names, two more than the stipulated figure of 15.