New Delhi: Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli obtained zero points while Mirabai Chanu, world champion weightlifter secured 44 points on the way to being named for this year’s Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by an 11-member selection panel.

According to a report by The Times of India, there were at least six other Khel Ratna aspirants who secured more points than Chanu. Kohli’s performance sheet had no points because no criteria had been set for cricket.

Even though Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat totalled 80 points each and scored the highest points based on their achievements, the show of hands ultimately decided that Kohli and Chanu would receive India’s highest sports award this year.

According to the present system of calculating points, cricketers will always get zero points because no criteria have yet been allocated for the sport. Although this can be blamed on an insufficient methodology, one cannot help but feel sympathetic towards sportspersons like Punia and Phogat who worked hard and secured high scores.

After a meeting with the sports minister on Thursday, Punia told TOI that he would move court on Friday against his name being overlooked for the award despite having the highest performance points.

"When Kohli's name came up for discussion, it was decided to pick him through a show of hands in the absence of a points system for cricket," a member said. "Eight out of the 11 members supported Kohli's candidature and that's how his name was recommended," he added.

This year's Khel Ratna and Arjuna committee was headed by a retired Delhi high court judge, Justice Indermeet Kaul Kochhar, and had former sportspersons Ashwini Nachappa, Kamlesh Mehta, Samresh Jung and Vimal Kumar as members, among others.