New Delhi: According to a report in the Hindustan Times, sports ministry on Friday decided to forward tennis star Sania Mirza's name to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards committee.
Having captured the mixed doubles gold with Saketh Myneni, bronze in women’s doubles with Prarthana Thombare at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games and the US Open mixed doubles title with Bruno Soares last year, 28-year-old is the clear favorite in the race to win this year's award.
However, Her recent triumph at Wimbledon will not be counted.
Mirza's has already been conferred with Arjuna Award in 2004 and Padma Shri in 2006.
All India Tennis Association (AITA) missed the deadline to forward the application by over 60 days, which is why the sports ministry then had to step in.
“The ministry is only condoning the delay (on part of the tennis federation) in receipt and forwarding her application to the committee. That is all,” a source was quoted as saying in the report.
Other applications for the prestigious award include Vikas Gowda (discus), Tintu Luka (800m), Dipika Pallikal (squash), Devendra Jhajhariya (paralympic javelin), Sardar Singh (hockey) and Abhishek Verma (archery).
The award committees are headed by Michael Ferreira and Kapil Dev and have been mired in controversy for the last few years.
For 2013-14, the award wasn’t conferred to anyone.