Virat Kohli is the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) choice for Arjuna award. The middle-order batsman, who has gradually evolved into a vital cog in India's batting wheel after the exit of the big guns, is the only nominee from the Board in this category. Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar is BCCI's choice for the Dhyanchand award (lifetime achievement).

After a brush with the sports ministry last year where a war of words erupted after BCCI alleged that it had not received the nomination forms in time, the Board was rather prompt in despatching the nominations to the ministry's offices in New Delhi, sources told TOI. The last date for receiving nominations for the Arjuna, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya and Dhyanchand awards is Tuesday.

Kohli, who won the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year award last September, is the only choice and unsurprisingly so, having evolved from his early days where he was dubbed an ODI specialist. His century against Australia in the Adelaide Test in January last year, the productive run against New Zealand in the subsequent months, and his elevation as vice-captain for the Asia Cup have apparently contributed to his nomination.

The two nominations received as on Monday for the Khel Ratna award were that of para athlete HN Girisha and hockey player Sandeep Singh. Girisha's silver medal-winning effort in high jump at the London Paralympics, which fetched him the Padma Shri earlier this year, is likely to lead him to the Khel Ratna too.

With the months post Olympics being rather dull, a majority of the nominations received this time were repeats from those who failed to make any headway last year, it is learnt.

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