The list includes other top Indian sporting icons as Sunil Chhetri, Abhishek Verma and Sharath Kamal.

The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) has nominated celebrated Indian motorsport driver Musa Sherif for the coveted Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

Musa Sherif is India’s joint most successful driver and has won the national title a whopping seven times with Gaurav Gill. The 49-year-old, who is from the Kasargod district in Kerala, has been rallying for the last 30 years. He has represented India globally and has won several championships.

His titles include three back-to-back victories in UAE, three Dakshin Dare crowns, APRC 2 Asia Cup, Malaysian 4X4 amongst others. Overall, Musa Sherif has claimed 21 championships in various races across the world.

“It is indeed a great honour for me and I would like to thank FMSCI for this recognition. It has been a long journey for me and over the years I partnered with 49 drivers and I thank each and every one of them for their support,” Musa Sherif said in a press release.

“I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to my sponsors JK Tyre, Mahindra Adventure, Gaurav Gill for being there by my side and helping me achieve my dreams,” he further added.

Several other stars nominated

The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has also submitted their nominations. It includes Tokyo Olympics-bound shooter Anjum Moudgil and double trap champion Ankur Mittal for the Khel Ratna Award. NRAI has also put in their recommendations for the Arjuna Award. The names are Abhishek Verma and Elavenil Valarivan, both of whom will soon be in action in the upcoming Olympics. The duo has been nominated owing to their track record in the field of shooting in recent years.

On the other hand, the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) nominated one of India’s finest Table Tennis player, Sharath Kamal, for the Khel Ratna. He will also be participating in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, which will be his fourth time in the mega event. Odisha government has also nominated Tokyo-bound sprinter Dutee Chand for the prestigious award.

The national sports awards are given away every year on August 29 to mark the birth anniversary of the legendary Dhyan Chand as the National Sports Day. Besides recommendations from the national federations, athletes can also nominate themselves through online applications. The last date for submission is July 5.

For more football updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.