New Delhi: Ace cueist Pankaj Advani slammed the government for awarding country’s highest sporting honour Khel Ratna to Sania Mirza as he believes that there's less weightage for team events.
“I believe there's less weightage for team events, and then you have Sania (Mirza) getting the Khel Ratna for being the doubles world No. 1 which is a team effort. If I talk about the cue sports, our multiple-time national champion and 2013 World Championship gold medalist Vidya Pillai had applied for the Arjuna, but her achievements were not even considered.
“Why is there discrimination when it comes to selecting people for awards or making policies?," asked the 13-time world billiards and snooker champion.
Former sports minister Ajay Maken also feels that the sports awards are losing their sheen because of the controversies surrounding them. “In order to see that such controversies do not happen, the chairperson and the members of these awards committees should be non-partisan people. That's why I made Olympian Rajyavardhan Rathore chairperson of the awards selection committee.
“I never cared about the political dealings during my tenure. And, he did a commendable job that time. There was not even a single sifarish (recommendation) from my side at least as a sports minister unlike these days," Maken was quoted as saying in the DNA.
Sania was conferred the award on August 29 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.