In a weird turn of events, Kohli and Mirabai Chanu won Khel Ratna award. The points they scored are 0 and 44 respectively. Rejected Bajrang Punia and Viignesh Phogat scored 80 points. Enraged and determined to solve the discrepancy, Punia will knock the court’s door.
The point system are for Olympic Sports and cricket is not. Different points are given for achievements in Olympics, World Championship, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. The sum total is normalized by the committee and final score is then calculated.
As per the norms, the player with the highest number of points should be the winner, but, the committee selects the winner with the show of hands. In Kohli’s case, 8 out of 11 people agree to the decision whereas in case of Chanu, 7.
The document, which breaks down the total points awarded based on achievements for 17 sportspersons shortlisted for the 2018 award, had para-athlete Deepa Malik behind Punia and Phogat with 78.4 points.
“If the members want to ignore my credentials despite it being amply visible that Vinesh and I have accumulated the maximum points, then what option do I have other than moving court? I have immense respect for Kohli and Mirabai. They are two champion sportspersons, but if I look at my credentials and that of Mirabai, there is no comparison. You gave her the award, give it to me as well, it’s simple.”
Marking for Punia’s achievements was done based on his silver at 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (20 points), Silver in 2014 Incheon Asiad (25 points), Gold in Gold Coast CWG (25 points) and gold in Jakarta Asiad (30 points). The score was normalized to 80.
Bajrang later met sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to plead his case. He got assurances which he won’t take and wait for next year.
“I only got assurances from the minister but I won’t wait until next year.”
Bajrang Punia told Times of India