The Board of Control for Cricket in India officially made it clear that it did not receive any request from the Sports Ministry for nominating cricketers for the Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards.
"We wish to clarify that unlike every year, the BCCI has not received any forms for nominating cricketers for the Arjuna and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards of the Government of India," read a statement from BCCI secretary Sanjay Jagdale.
"It has been the practice of the Sports Ministry to send the forms well in advance to the BCCI to nominate in the given format, which includes the players' acceptance and the BCCI's recommendation.
"Under the circumstances, the BCCI is not in a position to recommend deserving cricketers for the awards like every year," the statement added.
As the deadline for respective sports associations to send the names of the candidates ended, it was found that the BCCI hadn't sent any nomination despite the fact that in 2011 the senior cricket team won the World Cup and Virat Kohli was one of the top run-getters in ODI cricket.
"We haven't received the Arjuna nomination from the Union sports ministry. I can tell you that this has happened for the first time that we haven't received the format which requires to be filled up and also duly signed by our nominee. When they haven't sent us an intimation, how do we send a name," BCCI's Chief Administrative Officer Ratnakar Shetty said on Wednesday.
"The process of selecting a cricketer and getting all the formalities done takes some time and only the people in the sports ministry can tell as to why we didn't get the form," he added.
When contacted, a sports ministry official stated, "The question of sending a form to BCCI doesn't arise as it is available on the Internet. Any sports association can download it and fill it up. As of now, I am unable to provide you with further details as to why BCCI didn't send their nomination."