Cricket

Harbhajan Singh says he missed out on Khel Ratna Award because of Punjab sports department's delay in filing nomination

  • Press Trust of India
  • July 31st, 2019
  • 15:59:42 IST

Chandigarh: The Punjab government has ordered an inquiry into the allegations levelled by veteran India player Harbhajan Singh that delay in paperwork on the part of state's sports department was the reason for him not getting the prestigious Khel Ratna Award.

The off-spinner's nomination for the Khel Ratna award has been rejected by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) on grounds that his documents reached late.

File photo Harbhajan Singh. AFP

File photo Harbhajan Singh. AFP

Harbhajan had requested Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi's intervention in the matter and the minister subsequently ordered a probe into the alleged delay in sending his documents to the centre.

"I have ordered an inquiry into the matter. The director (Sports) has been tasked to carry out the inquiry," Punjab Sports Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi told PTI on Wednesday.

In a video uploaded on his twitter handle, Harbhajan claimed he had timely submitted his form for the nomination to Punjab Sports department for the award.

"I have come to know through media that a file recommending my name for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award sent by Punjab government to the Centre has been rejected with the reason being that papers reached very late," Harbhajan said.

"I have come to know that because of delay, my nomination will not be considered for this award this time and because of which I will not get this award," he rued.

Harbhajan claimed that he furnished the relevant documents on 20 March but now he understands that there was a delay in sending his papers to the centre that ultimately led to his rejection.

"As far as I can recollect, I submitted papers on 20 March with your (Sodhi) office and this form was supposed to reach Delhi within 10-15 days and why it was not been submitted in a timely manner. Had this form been submitted timely, I probably would have got the award this year which comes as a motivation and encouragement for any sportsperson," he further said.

The cricketer, who is the third-highest wicket-taker for India in Test cricket requested the minister to re-send his application for next year.

"If such delays continue to take place then players will lag behind which is not right and I hope you (Sodhi) will take action on it and forward my nomination again to the government of India," said Harbhajan.

Updated Date: July 31, 2019 15:59:42 IST

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