Khel Ratna

109 Comments

Mahendra Singh Dhoni wins the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna becoming the second cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar to win the highest civilian award for sportsmen.

Now I can anticipate the reaction from the perennially grumpy traditionalists. They are first going to pull down the whole concept of government-granted awards by pointing out that sarkari samman is determined more by politics, pull and regional considerations rather than by merit, conveniently forgetting contrary examples to their thesis—like Saif Ali Khan winning a National Award for the path-breaking “Hum Tum”.

Then they will go after Dhoni’s most-average Test record and wonder how that translates to a cricketing achievement award. They will pooh-pooh Dhoni’s one day series win in Australia and T20 victory as credentials that do not merit such a high honor, especially in the light of the fact that Kapil Dev, who won the One day World Cup and did some other things of note (like 400 odd Test wickets), was passed over.

They will ask how in purely cricketing terms, as of 2008, has Dhoni achieved more than Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

Of course the problem is that these people are traditionalists. They evaluate performances on the basis of Test matches, those long boring grind fests that produce as much revenue to the Board as “Mr Prime Minister” does for Dev Anand. As a result, they fail to see that Dhoni is a true “Khel” ratna where “khel” is defined purely in terms of the “paisa phenk tamsha dekh” principle. After all who is the highest paid performer in Lalita Pawar’s (Lalit Modi + Sharad Pawar)’s seven ring circus? Who dances with Shahrukh Khan? Who hits shuttlecocks with Ms. Padukone?

Just one person. Mr. Dhoni.

And most importantly, which Indian khiladi (not even khiladiyon ka khiladi Akshay Kumar) has this to his credit?

Temples are echoing with the Bhojpuri song, Set kara di life he Baba Dhoni sangh hamaar ho . (Lord Shiva, please set our lives with Dhoni or men like him). With the Hindi month of Shrawan on, the recently-released album, Baba ke nagariya bada pawan lage la , (Lord Shiva’s abode is sacred to us) has become a favourite for girls in Bihar. Unmarried girls throng Shiva temples during the month to seek suitable husbands.

Humming the song while coming out of a city temple, Shruti, a young devotee said, ”Any sensible girl would love to have a husband like Dhoni.”

Dipali, another devotee, said, ”With Dhoni moving around with a posse of female guards these days, girls like us have stopped thinking of him and instead started praying for a life partner having similar qualities.”

Singer Saloni, who has lent her voice to the song, said, ”The idea of a devotional song featuring Dhoni struck a few months ago. We decided to release the song before Shrawan which is the time girls come to Shiva temples praying for a suitable life partner.” [Link]

Now tell me ye females, would you like a husband like Sourav Ganguly who keeps flirting outside the off-stump at over-weight deliveries from the South or a stoid Dravid who stays up at night hitting a ball hanging at the end of a string “practicing” while you wait at the bed with a glass of warm milk in your hand? [Of course it should be mentioned that if I was a girl I would want a husband like Kumble who keeps trying relentlessly all day and has a nickname of “Jumbo” (as in big) but then again there is a reason why I am not a girl.]

Well I think we know what the girls want. They maangta only Mahi.

And why so?

Because he is a “player” (pronounced “playah”) , a gem of a player, a Khel Ratna.

Who are we, ordinary cricket fans, to argue with that?

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109 thoughts on “Khel Ratna

  1. In this era of pure commercialization, of course it is the ‘paisa phenk, tamashaa dekh’ type of soprtsmen who would get all the awards and accolades.
    There is no place for people like Gavaskar, Kapil, Kumble, Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman or even the spin trio of Chandrashekhar-Prasanna-Bedi.
    Even for Sachin, it had taken him a good decade after his debut to get the Khel Ratna.

    What did they do, for Indian cricket (read BCCI), after all?

    Earning money for the board is more important than winning these days. More money for the player will mean more revenues for BCCI, and more taxes in the Government’s funds. Hence the highest civilian award for sportspersons.

  2. Somehow, I have a feeling and to be very frank a quite frightening one, that Dhoni is not far from becoming another Vinod Ganpat Kambli…only this time the fall is going to be from a much higher altitude and going to hurt big time…I really hope this doesn’t happpen…

  3. “like Sourav Ganguly who keeps flirting outside the off-stump at over-weight deliveries from the South” – roflol

  4. @ Arnab
    ….. would want a husband like Kumble who keeps trying relentlessly all day and has a nickname of “Jumbo” (as in big) but then again there is a reason why I am not a girl.

    He he he he he

  5. Well said, well said! Dhoni maybe an inspirational captain but Saurav was no less. Dhoni may have won T20 World Cup but Dada took us to the finals of the original a good two decades after we won it. And of course, how can we forget the one who lifted the Cup and actually made the Sauravs and Dhonis possible? Neglecting the one-time top test batsmen and bowlers in the world to honour a young pretender is rubbish. Arjuna Award I can understand, but Khel Ratna? – idiotic! (I intentionally left out the Rajiv Gandhi part; with the way things are going, the entire population may be named Gandhi by law by 2050).

  6. Now suppose Parthiv keeps like Allan Knott at the Premedasa and then scores a match winning century…..he will still get dropped at the next test in favor of “Khel Ratna” Dhoni……just cause he sells and sells well ….

  7. Any man who can get an all-woman commando team to protect him from… uh… the fanatical women fans, deserves an award!

    I’m trying to figure out who could have taken it in place of MSD.

    Hockey? Nothing.
    Tennis? Nope.
    Football? Sunil Chhetri, that’s about it. he competes against teams ranked below 120 in the FIFA rankings.
    Chess? Anand already has one.
    Cue sports? Nothing this year.
    Badminton? Saina is not there yet.
    TT? Not really.. that one guy, I forget his name, has potential.

    So we’re back to cricket…

  8. Another reason why Dhoni should be awarded: is for his sex symbol status. You did mention it, but you forgot to mention the 15% of the male population in India (like me) who would like a husband/partner like Dhoni!

    And the Kumble joke was hilarious. He deserves more, GB!

    Kris

  9. Dear GB,

    I think that one day, the GOI will have an award for Blogger Ratna. I am also sure that if there is one, you will not get it and it is that not getting which will be the testament to your excellence, as not getting the Khel Ratna is for Dada, Dravid and Kumble.

    A brilliant post from a true cricket fan. I share your pain and shock at this travesty of justice.

  10. @ Aditya – How about the other players in Chess
    Sasikiran (2684)
    P. Harikrishna (2668)
    SS Ganguly (2631)
    Koneru Humpy (2622) – she is ranked #2 in the world (among women), is the youngest GM in the world
    Sandipan Chanda (2588)
    Abhijjet Kunte (2554)
    Gopal (2572)
    Parimarjan Negi (2529)
    Abhijeet Gupta (2551)
    P. Magesh Chandran (2486)
    D.Barua (2497)
    Ramesh (2478)
    Neelotpal Das (2462)
    Deepan Chakravarty (2464)
    Tejas Bakre (2474)
    Pravin Thipsay (2444)

    I am sure Humpy deserves it more than Dhoni.

  11. M S Dhoni has won the Khel Ratna Award
    He is second after Sachin Tendulkar to receive this award.
    Wow. A serious wow.
    He is that good.

    His average is in the late forties. Cool? That’s what the ‘fans’ would say. They’ll not actually see the statistics, will they? Or the straight drive? Or the glance. Or the courage to be calm. To accept mistakes. To not omit players for their age. Etc.

    Now what are politicians but mere ‘fans’?

    P.S: I didn’t get the Sourav, Kumble part in connection to the story.

  12. @katya….why dnt u throw some light on wht fans wont see….for public interest ofcourse…
    btw whr the hell is yourfan

  13. The last paragraph is out of the world…I wonder how this article made it to the internet(the one about the set karade life with mahi song).I had read it in the local ranchi supplement of HT.. I

  14. What exactly is the basis of giving this award?

    If it is done on the basis of following two points, then its fine to give that award to Dhoni:

    1. The award is given out on a annual basis to the players who are serving the sport.
    2. The award will be given based on the performance in that calender year.

    I think Dhoni qualifies on both fronts. Leave aside what endorsements he does or who he dances with. Its just the time that we are living in. Had Gavaskar or Kapil Dev been born in this era they’d also have gone this way.

    Dhoni has had a brilliant year both as a player and as a captain. He has handled the team well when we were staring at a crisis after Dravid’s resignation.

    Also, in the year 2007-08 Indian cricket team has had some enormous triumphs. And Dhoni has played a very important role in that. So why should there be any controversy over this?

    Its true that Ganguly Dravid and Kumble are equally deserving sportsmen as anybody who has received this award, but they should have been awarded when they were at their peak.
    1999 – Kumble (for his pefect 10)
    2003 – Ganguly (for taking the team to WC final winning a test series in Pakistan for the first time)
    2004 – Dravid (he was ICC player of the year that year)

    But if its for this year then I dont have any problem with this decision.

  15. If you Google images of Dhoni, the first few are him posing as a rock star, next few with some film stars.. and then a few with a cricket bat in his hand.

    Shows his popularity index and what means he used to get there. Honestly, I don’t think it is his fault, media has a tendency to make GOD out of a total nobody !

    Being a girl and all and commenting on first cricketing post ever.. I sure wouldn’t want a guy who follows cricket like you all do.Crazy Crazy Crazy ! But that’s just me; still a die-hard GB fan 🙂

    But GB seriously it is about time a girl popped on blog-sphere who can can counter your sharp wit and the jokes you crack on us !!

  16. Mr Bong, Great Bong, I dont trust you on this “Set kara di life he Baba Dhoni sangh hamaar ho ” unless you provide the youtube link 🙂

  17. Aren’t we forgetting that this is sort of a sports person of the year award? I don’t know any other cricketer who should get the award instead of Dhoni for recent performances. Of course, I don’t really follow any other sports in India. There might be players from other sports more deserving than Dhoni.

  18. The award was instituted in 1991, and is based on sporting achievements in the previous yea.That’s why Kapil and gavaskar didn’t get the award. Dravid was a close contender in 2006, but was rightly overshadowed by Pankaj Advani that year. It was actually sad that a cricketer got the khel ratna award in the olympic year. This means that no other individual or team sport did well enough in the past year.

  19. Dada..you get a “Blog Ratna” for this post.
    I will relentlesly try day and night to get your dream man “Jumbo” to deliver it to you.
    Back to your vintage writing..I must say..

  20. you did not know the facts about this award..it being annual and for the klast calendat year etc. .did you GB??:)

  21. “the 15% of the male population in India (like me) who would like a husband/partner like Dhoni!”
    -Now WHAT WAS THAT????????

  22. I am of the clear opinion that behind this snipy post lies the fact that dada Sourav could never win this award. You are just finding difficult to digest that simple fact. Period.

  23. Indian govt never recognizes legends. I expected Bharat Ratna for VVS Laxman after his 281 in Calcutta, but he was ignored. I expected at least Padma Bhushan for him for his batting exploits in Australia later, but again he was ignored. I really cannot believe the fact that a legend like Laxman who gives inferiority complex to Don Bradman and whose greatness no other batsman can never achieve is ignored like this. Indian govt should wake up now at least and should give him highest civilian award.

  24. “Of course the problem is that these people are traditionalists. They evaluate performances on the basis of Test matches, those long boring grind fests that produce as much revenue to the Board as “Mr Prime Minister” does for Dev Anand.”

    I wont ask for an iPod but following line is just a gem for me. Please don’t misunderstand me, i am neither test cricket fan nor Resp. Mr. Dev Anand fan but the statement somewhere reflect thoughts of us ignorant people. BTW I stopped watching Dev Saab’s movies right after Loot Maar and Lashkar

  25. Ok, I may have got it mixed up.
    Khel Ratna is given for the player’s performance in the year; it’s not a lifetime award. Sure, Dhoni is eligible for it. We are supposed to understand that no other sportsman in other fields was as good as Dhoni was in cricket. This is a tad hard to believe. There were no doubts raised when Sachin got the award, and it is seamlessness that marks a sporting achievement.

  26. I used to be a big fan of Lalita Pawar. Now I’ll never be able to watch reruns of Ramayan with a straight face anymore.
    Damn you Arnab. Damn you to heck.

  27. ….Ganguly who keeps flirting outside the off-stump at over-weight deliveries from the South….Hilarious

    Typical tongue-in-cheek GB

    Cheers

  28. Awesome 1 GB…..Really Dhoni, the joker definitely deserves the Khel Ratna more than Sourav, Kumble, Laxman or 4 dat matter Dravid……Maybe we can expect Bharat Ratna 4 Dhoni soon…….
    N by da way, has anybody noticd Kishor goin bak 2 wat he does best…..lol

  29. I dont understand the comparisons with Kapil, Gavaskar, Kumble etc. This award is for best sportsperson in the previous year – in which case, Dhoni has a sure shot of being at the top among the cricketers at least. This is what he has done in 2007:

    a) Led the team to victory in the T20 World Cup … and, whatever we say, a world cup is a world cup. It was an official event, all teams competed and the competition was intense!
    b) Test record – 8 matches, Avg – 52 (includes two tests against Bangladesh but also averages of 52 & 72 v/s England and Pakistan respectively)
    c) ODI record – 37 matches; Avg – 44; SR – 90

    That is not bad at all … atleast among cricketers … for that particular time period.

    Now, whether he deserved it over players from other sports … that is a difficult one to figure out since I do not follow all other sports. I know for sure there were none deserving in tennis or football or hockey.
    Actually, chess would be interesting – any standout performers in 2007? Anand should get it every year actually, but then he’s already got it and may not have been considered.

    But, to take that debate forward one needs to suggest viable alternatives or accept the jury’s verdict rather than bringing up comparisons with cricketers of the past or past performances of other current cricketers. That would be like saying that a newcomer cannot win a National Award just because Dilip Kumar never won it.

  30. Arnab,

    This is a just reward for the great MAHI for catering to the political honchos controlling cricket these days.Reminds me of the past few Bharat Ratna cases.

    At this rate , one fine day we would have the BCCI chief recommending the award for himself

  31. Dhoni comes from a lowercaste background that is why you white collored people dont digest the fact that he has got an award here deserves. This is the babasaheb Ambedkar’s and Kashiram’s country a lower caste person deserves all the awards.

    Greatbong you are a JATIY-VADI

    This is what mayavati gonna say….. after reading ur post.

  32. @ Mayuresh:

    What has been Humpy’s – or any other chess player’s – performance in the last one year.

    Me, I would give it to Anand, once again. This is not the Bharat Ratna award for Lifetime Achievement, this is for the previous year. No reason why a sportsman can’t win it multiple times.

  33. Boss,

    agar Ganguly ko pehle yeh award mil gaya hota tab aapko Dhoni se problem na hoti.

    It is like ‘agar angoor nahi mil rahe hein to khatte hi honge’

    I enjoy your writing and sarcasm, but sometime you just miss the point.

    RG ki death ke bahut baad yeh award dena shuru hoya tha. So how could KD and SG (gavaskar) could qualify?
    As far as *your* SG is concerned, tell me his batting performance as a captain (beside the first century in Aus 2003-2004) which would made him a recipient of this/any award.

    Dhoni has been great, as a captain as well as a batsman in this year.

  34. “…..husband like Kumble who keeps trying relentlessly all day and has a nickname of “Jumbo”..”

    Too good. Can’t stop laughing…

  35. even i want to play shuttle cock with deepika and flirt with south indian heavies outside the off ‘stump’.

    raunchy puns aside, the awards were only initiated 1991 onwards, so there is no way that kapil dev could get one (as another world cup winning captain).

  36. @Kriss bass
    “but you forgot to mention the 15% of the male population in India (like me) who would like a husband/partner like Dhoni!”

    You have bad taste in men.

  37. Unless, you can provide the statistics of some other sportsperson whom you think was better than Dhoni (IN 2007) please refrain from saying that he didn’t deserve the award (I know you never said this explicitly but that is what I understood). I completely admit that I may be unaware of some other sportsperson who performed better than Dhoni during the last year and that can be a real good point for a debate but Dhoni/(other cricketrs) comparison lacks logic.
    Also, he getting the award does not make him one of the two best cricketers produced by India. Kapil, Gavaskar, Dravid, Ganguly ..(long list) have all acheived more than him.

    BTW, Lalita Pawar == (Lalit Modi Sharad Pawar) .. is damn funny.

  38. With respect to the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, let me clarify that I understand that Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar were never eligible because of when the awards were instituted. What my point was is that it is a travesty that Dhoni is being given the highest award for an Indian sportsman when so many worthies have not won it, being passed over either because they were in the wrong era (unintentional) or being passed over because possibly the prevalent winds of politics didn’t suit their candidacy.

    The RGKR is, for all intents and purposes, perceived to be a life-time achievement award which is given to sportsmen for spectacular achievement in sport. As the official GOI website says (predictably down at the time of writing)

    The scheme was launched in the year 1991-92 with the objective of honouring sports persons to enhance their general status and to give them greater dignity and place of honour in society. Under this scheme, an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs is given as award for the most spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports by an individual sportsperson or a team.

    Note no mention of “achievement in a year”. Now the wikipedia article does say it is given for achievement in a particular year (unreferenced) and I will accept that it is perhaps so. In letter. But not the spirit.

    The Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu says:

    “A person can receive this award only once in his lifetime”

    In annual awards given for excellence in only that year, this is typically not the case. (This explains why Anand was not considered for 2007). So while it is true that a spectacular sporting achievement in a certain year does trigger the award, it is by no means just for that achievement and achievement alone.

    For instance, Kambli’s sensational debut was not enough for him to get a Khel Ratna (and very rightly too). If a brilliant performance was the sole criterion for an award, I fail to see why Kumble’s 10 wickets or VVS Laxman’s monumental innings at the Eden or Dravid’s golden run in 2004 do not make the cut.

    One must remember that there have been instances when in a year multiple people have gotten awards and so it does not mean that Kumble or Laxman were necessarily edged out by superlative achievements in other sports—there was nothing to prevent them from giving the RGKR to both Abhinav Bindra and Laxman , should they have thought Laxman to be deserving.

    Now if we accept that the RGKR is for outstanding achievement for the year, let us look at MSK Dhoni’s achievements in the time period considered. (the cricket season 07—08)
    In Test matches, which to date remain the “main form” of the sport, Dhoni’s average for the 07-08 season, according to Cricinfo, is a dismal 28.50 from 9 Tests. Yes. In comparison, let us look at the much-hated Sourav Ganguly. His batting average in the same season is 54.44 in 10 Tests. Yes almost double that of Dhoni ! Yet even his greatest fans will not say that SG deserves a Khel Ratna for just this performance alone. (I would say he deserves one for his contribution to Indian cricket).

    Looking at ODIs, which is but theoretically a tertiary form of the game, Dhoni has had a good year with an average of 50.57. But does that warrant a Khel Ratna? I mean its still not 54.44 ! And in the same season, the much-hated Sachin had a not-to-behind average of 44.57 and noone can claim that Sachin is at the height of his career !

    But wait you say. The reason why Dhoni won was because of his captaincy in the T20 cup. I wonder how greater that achievement is than that of Sourav who took the team to the World Cup final, which is to date still the single most prestigious cricket tournament in the world. (I dont think Sourav deserved a Khel Ratna for his captaincy alone because his performance as a batsman, his primary responsibility, was nothing to write home about in ’03 just like Dhoni’s batsmanship in 2007-2008 has not set the roof on fire by any means)This is not to deny Dhoni’s undeniable captaincy and people skills but does that alone warrant the highest sporting honor for India?

    There is also another factor. Inspiration. The vaguely defined quality of a champion. Without belittling Dhoni’s many good innings throughout the year, when the time came to truly make history, Dhoni folded up for zero against Murali, in the elimination match in World Cup 2007. Not captaincy here, or moving his hands about. When it came to putting bat on ball in the most crucial game of 2007, Dhoni floundered. Again that’s nothing to cry about but worth remembering when we are told about his superhuman achievement in 2007—2008 season.

    Dhoni may very well go to become one of India’s sporting legends. And I have expressed my admiration for him in my blog several times (not to the extent of desiring him as my soulmate of course) But my point was that him getting the award while so many more performers, who had as good if not better years, have not, is just a bit ironic.

    In passing, knowing the history of how government awards are given out, it would be interesting if Dhoni would have won the Khel Ratna had Jharkhand strong man, Shibu Soren not voted for the UPA. Just curious.

  39. I’ve been pre-empted by GB’s wonderful reply. you’ve said everything i would have said, plus a bit more that i didn’t think of/know of, and you’ve said it in a much more logical, coherent and compelling fashion than i probably could have.
    a question i had regarding the RGKR: is it mandatory for the government to announce a winner every year? If we have a dismal year in sport (even by normal Indian standards) then does it mean that just because the RGKR has to be given, it will be given to someone who gets it by virtue of being the ‘best of the worst’?

  40. GB

    Dhoni’s test average in the calendar year 2007 is 52 in 8 matches and not sub 30. And, that is a very good number. For the calendar year, with a test average of 52, ODI average of 44 & captaining the team to the T20 WC (in which he played a good had as a batsman as well) makes him the best candidate among cricketers at least.

    I think you are using the cricket season that extends through the latter part of 2007 and some part of 2008. Surely, for an award that spans multiple sporting disciplines you have to go by a fixed period (in this case, the calendar year)rather than respective seasons of all those sports.

    Now, whether he deserved it over sportspersons from other categories is a different debate … and that has nothing to do with whether Sachin or Dravid or Laxman or Ganguly got it for similar or better performances in earlier years. It may just be that the competition was much tougher in those years. Do you have any sportsperson in mind who should have got it over Dhoni for the calendar year 2007? If we have some candidates in front of us, then one can be a debate.

    Your point on the confusion over whether this is a lifetime award (in which case Dhoni does not deserve it yet) or a year by year award (in which case, why not give it to one person more than once) is well taken.

  41. Dear Haha,

    Please do look at the 2007–2008 season in Cricinfo statsguru.
    http://stats.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/player/28081.html?class=1;season=2007/08;template=results;type=allround

    And yes. It is not mandatory that an award has to be given in an year. And so there is no prerogative to prove that there has been a better sporting performance. Dhoni’s performance in the stated period is in itself, IMHO, not worthy of the “highest sporting honor” in the country.

  42. GB
    Great post, great sarcasm. But I want to know where is it all directed at -Dhoni,Lalita Pawar, People..

    Because If my knowledge is correct one doesn’t apply oneself for the award, he is nominated by the sports body. Secondly Dhoni had no role in all the greats not getting the award especially Sourav….. Also If he is selling as a product/person- then who is buying it, I think we the Junta. If he is endorsing “n” no of products so are others atleast the brands he are endorsing are known by all not Chirag computers and Lakhani slippers.If we as a country are not respecting other sports again the cricketer is not to be blamed for a archer or athletes poor condition.

    My only point is if all this is directed at the administrators and the general junta then everything in your post is correct but why blame Mr Dhoni……….

  43. GB,

    Thanks.

    I understood where you got that average from. My point was that the time frame appears to be the calendar year 2007 from whatever I have read – and not the cricket season 2007-08. In my view, this is fair because this is a multidisciplinary award and not a cricket related one …so, a fixed time frame is better – be it Jan-Dec or Apr-March.

    Here are the stats for Dhoni’s test record in calendar year 2007 from Cricinfo – the first link is against all teams (average: 52) and the second link is against non minnows (average: 45)

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/player/28081.html?class=1;filter=advanced;orderby=default;spanmax1=31 Dec 2007;spanmin1=01 Jan 2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround

    http://stats.cricinfo.com/statsguru/engine/player/28081.html?class=1;filter=advanced;opposition=1;opposition=2;opposition=3;opposition=4;opposition=7;opposition=8;orderby=default;spanmax1=31 Dec 2007;spanmin1=01 Jan 2007;spanval1=span;template=results;type=allround

    Having said that, if one takes the April to March time frame, his test average drops to 34 but he gets credit for leading the team to the tri-series victory in Australia (again, a feat not achieved by India in a long time).

    Two tournament victories (one world cup and one tri-series where we have historically just made up the numbers) do count for a lot in my view. Sure, he did not do it all by himself but how can anyone do so in a team game? But, can one deny that his batting and captaincy have been instrumental in these victories?

    The NDTV website claims that the others in contention were Marie Kolme (Boxing), A S Kamal (TT), K Shamini (TT), Lindse Fenny Siam (karate), and R M Shankara (Carrom). The last mentioned should have won hands down if this were a lifetime achievement award (he won the world carrom championship twice – in 2000 & 2004). However, at least from whatever I have been able to gather from the web on these sportspersons, they did not have as good a year as Dhoni in 2007 / 2007-08.

    I agree it is not mandatory that an award has to be given …and that is probably the only logic by which one can fault this award. Not that Kapil Dev was passed over or that Dhoni has not achieved as much as Dravid, Ganguly or Laxman as of now. This is an annual award for sporting performances in a preceding year, irrespective of what it is perceived to be. Whether it should be is a different issue altogether.

  44. This Dhoni person everyone keeps talking about — is he Hindu or Muslim? How can I react in the absence of this information?

  45. Shovonc – Dhoni is a Ghasi. They are the worshippers of the Mahua tree. Their philosophy is that by drinking the local tharra (made from this tree’s sap) one can communicate with the almighty.

    Now react.

  46. As always, we have no clear idea about the rules of the award. If the award is for lifetime achievement then definitely Dhoni does not deserve it yet.
    If it is for year 2007 then maybe he getting the award is not so bad. He definitely deserves it then. If he got the award for his performance based on season 2007-2008, then it can be little contentious.
    The one major point on which I agree that Dhoni shouldn’t have got the award is that cricketers already get all the fame, recognition and money. So it’s a better idea to give awards to other sportsperson. Maybe because of this reason, other cricketers missed out on the awards initially. And, my guess is that this is the main reason some people are disputing on Dhoni getting the award. They think why change the rules now?

    At least they gave the award to Dhoni and not to someone from Chak De.

  47. I really fail to understand how it’s Dhoni’s fault if he got this award.And I can’t understand why HE’S being whipped around here because Ganguly wasn’t awarded suitably for his stupendous contributions to Indian cricket.
    Considering the state of sports in India the KHEL RATNA should have been awarded to Ganguly,Dravid,Kumble n VVS but for the policy of deliberately ignoring cricketers(cuz they have fame,money and all that crap) for awards.
    Rather than castigating this policy and the babus/policymakers/fixers/pimps/politicos etc behind this ,the “Well connected” Dhoni is being made the whipping boy by the enlightened janta.Maybe sparing the obvious,known culprits and going off a tangent looking for more better,savoury targets is in or maybe it’s a case of assorted sour grapes.

    I have been hearing almost the same things against Dhoni from Yuvraj Singh’s fans ever since the award was announced(and also when Mr.Yuvi was overlooked for captaincy).And after reading this post I remembered reading something about parochialism in one of GB’s earlier posts.

    As for the obvious references to Dhoni as the man-close-to-the-establishment, I don’t see any captain since Ganguly taking on the gang of thugs called BCCI like Dhoni did.
    And Dhoni won’t just be remembered as a great player,his contribution towards cricket in India has already established him as one of the icons of these times.And a lot of people think that.

    Maybe the ground realities are at odds with the “conservative”
    view on this matter.

    Too bad!

    p.s. Btw the linkup b/w Dhoni’s RGKH and Sibu Soren/JMM voting in favor of the UPA took the cake.in fact,I got curious about a few things too but I decided to let my demented mind rest.

  48. “RAJIV GANDHI KHEL RATNA AWARD

    The scheme was launched in the year 1991-92 with the objective of honouring sports persons to enhance their general status and to give them greater dignity and place of honour in society. Under this scheme, an amount of Rs. 5 lakhs is given as award for the most spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports by an individual sportsperson or a team.”Source : Ministry of Youth Affairs website So, I guess GB is correct by his instincts but did not put his logic properly. Why I say that is because of the simple reason , “most spectacular and outstanding performance in the field of sports by an individual OR a team”.Do I still need to explain ? Ok, winning T20 worldcup doesnt add to Dhoni’s credentials for being awarded Khel Ratna as captaining a team is not considered any more important than the team performance in itself and can not stand out to be bigger than the team itself. That falls in the team category for Khel Ratna. By far now , Khel ratna hasn’t been awarded to a team. It has been awarded only to individuals for excellence in individual performance till now. So, in that category of individual performance I think we all find Dhoni , quite wanting , whereas in the same year people like Sehwag has become the only person in India to have two double centuries. Ok other two persons all time being Don Bradman and Brian Lara. Sourav Ganguly has scored double centuries and consecutive centuries in last 1 year.The catch is BCCI nominated Dhoni’s name through sharad pawar who also happens to be epicenter of lots of other powers. I don’t see Dhoni’s individual performance in the last 1 year to be credible enough for the award but rather see it as a lack of other achievers in the country. Sad, illogical but history now. I think the ministry should have done what they did in 1993-94.

    sorry for the long post… 😛

  49. Don’t really care who gets what awards as long as I get my reward – Greatbong at his funny sarcastic crude best. Rahul practising all night! hee hee

  50. true to its form cricket has once again generated general debate. politics, PR firms, current winds of alliance and compromise, performance and luck; everything plays its part. even durga puja arti ceremonies have lobbying and politics when the awards are announced.

  51. Arey ….. Update …. Abhinav Bindra managed a gold at Olympics… Guess Media will go bonkers over it….. Yeay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Most bakwaas post you ever wrote..
    seriously! You could have given a better argument. And I (for the records) would prefer A Dravid or Ganguly as hubby over some1 like Dhoni.. So plz give this award to my dear Dada or wall of all…
    (Totally your kinda argument naa?)

  53. @Sugandha
    Most girlz lyk u dnt undrstnd cric8, n watch da game just 4 ogling da guyz on display….. o doubt u wud lyk Dhoni 4 his big….err, body

  54. GB, I am sorry – you suck.

    You suck if you can not see the character and individuality Dhoni has single handedly brought to a third grade loser churner BCCI and the general Indian team.

    You suck if you can not see that here is ONE man in this whole setup who is POSITIVE to the core and is fearless to take chances.

    You suck if you forget it is character which makes people like Dhoni (pretty average on cricketing skills) to stay on fighting times and relentlessly.

    You suck if you forgot it was Dhoni and Yuvraj who made India chase record number of victories.

    You suck if you can not see the difference this single man has brought to the whole setup, that no cricketing genius, Tendulkar, Dravid or Kapil Dev could bring.

    And you suck, basically because you know all this and you still want to keep one little window in ur rather intelligent mind, completely CLOSED – where u worship that 2 cent below average human being, u term as Dada. You suck because you like Ganguly.

  55. Dhruv, u suck, since u hav a big mouth…..
    n GB doesn’t simply bcoz he doesn’t hav 1…….
    1 more reason is if GB suckd, he wudnt hav allowd ur comment 2 hav been posted……
    so, keep suckin……cheerz….

  56. Greatbong,
    I am not here to argue about whether dhoni deserve award(who cares for them? we can’t even yet figure whether it is a career award or not) but i do find you have put dhoni down unnecessarily just to make a point.
    The guy definitely has played much better cricket this year with captaincy than sourav did with his captaincy. I see dhoni has stayed on matches when several times his own team mates kept tumbling down on the other end. Its a remarkable trait.

    I don’t have a problem with your case just your arguements!

  57. @dhruv: you could have shown dissent without making GB “suck” so much :).it was unwarranted.
    for starters,as mentioned in another comment,he allowed you to post your comment …
    chillax!

  58. “Wasn’t it obvious. I was talking about gays”

    u ‘suck man’…..

    @RICH AND FAMOUS

    “@kriss bass- you have bad taste in men”

    exactly so,

  59. Unlike what some people seem to have read this as, I don’t think this post was Dhoni bashing. It was about him being undeserving of this award. It’s not his fault or due to his machinations that he got it. It’s just that there were more deserving contenders, but politics and Sharad Pawar prevailed.

    As for Sourav, Greatbong has mentioned Rahul and Kumble as well, but it speaks more about the Sourav haters’ mentality that they read everything through a Sourav prism while accusing Arnab of doing the same! Hilarious! 🙂

  60. “They will pooh-pooh Dhoni’s one day series win in Australia and T20 victory as credentials that do not merit such a high honor, especially in the light of the fact that Kapil Dev, who won the One day World Cup and did some other things of note (like 400 odd Test wickets), was passed over.

    They will ask how in purely cricketing terms, as of 2008, has Dhoni achieved more than Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.”

    You sucked there again, failing to do even basic research before you pulled your rant.

    The Khel Ratna was instituted in the year 1991-92. Gavaskar, Kapil Dev weren’t playing then.

    So not mentioning (because I already did, in previous post) the overall impact Dhoni has had – a T20 win, a series win in Aus and an ODI performance averaging 51.82, is pretty unworthy of a khel ratna, yeah.

    Especially with Ganguly standards.

    It is because of paisa faink and tamasha dekh that this world has stooped to. Right!

    You suck pretty bad here GB. And it is all because of your blind, shallow – I’m bengali, so rocks Ganguly – love.

    Not to mention that I respect you a lot for many other things.

    Dhruv

  61. And correction – Gavaskar was not playing, and Kapil’s performances were hardly deserving of a Ratna from 1991 to 94.

  62. Now, why is every one gunning at Kumble’s head? Have they already forgotten what he did for the team, only a few months ago, in Australia?

  63. another Dhoni praising song that i heard in Ranchi…
    “Dhoni ne Dhoni ne Dhoni ne (break)…..Dhoni ne dekho dho daala” (keep in mind a Kumar Sanu like voice and typical bhojpuriya holi song, its a pity i can’t provide u with the tune, u can try copy pasting it to the tune of “aaj naa chodengey bass humjoli..khelengey hum Holi” )

  64. I dont think we need to go into much detail.
    SG and Rahul dravid have inspired millions. They have set examples before the young minds.
    SG for his aggression, he changed india’s image in cricketing world. It is under him that India managed to look into eyes of Australia.
    Rahul dravid has always remained the unsung hero. His contribution can not be measured by normal standards. However he is one person who has personified the spirit of the game especially in the test cricket the main form of the game.

  65. Oh my God GreatBong – who got ICC ODI player of the year award? :O :O :O :O :O

    F’G NONSENSE!! What the hell is going on in this world these days?!

    (now wouldnt you give a witty and exciting treatment to this. Pray tell us why it was unfair Ganguly didnt get one! Neither Did Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil DEV WTF! )

    LOL

  66. And damn the ex-cricketers who gave this award.

    They got no clue as to what they are doing! Ganguly has surpassed this feat anyway. (as mentioned in your article. Too bad the jury members dont know cricket the way you do, and they didnt read your post here 😦

    LOL

  67. Dear Dhruv,

    In your Dhoni worship you forgot its the One Day player of the year. In cricket, it is generally the case that when an “overall excellence” is presented, it is usually for performance in test cricket. Where Dhoni’s stats are really not that great. And he didnt even make the Test Team of the year….all Sourav Ganguly fans on the selection committee perhaps.

  68. GB,

    you really do not need to waste your precious time replying to the likes of dhruv…

    spend that time in writing a new post! the dhruvs of the world will always be there to provide their insignificant less-than-two-bits worth — ignore them!

  69. [edited for expletives]

    And Dear GB, I am sorry to vandalize your comment board here but I hope you do see the altruist end to my means.

    I am sure all the reverence your awesome writing skills fetches you (with me adding my bits too time and again) leads you to levels of pride – very few of us can dream of – but at the same time … I am sure you must be tired of such ass sniffers. Its plain obnoxious.

  70. Apology not accepted. I would kindly ask you to take your expletives outside i.e. outside my blog. There is incidentally a comment policy which I encourage you to read. Further expletives will be censored. And yes if the desire to abuse is too strong, may I suggest Rediff message boards where I am sure you will find kindred souls.

    Thank you.

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