New Delhi, July 31: Veteran India cricketer Harbhajan Singh's application for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna has been delayed and the off-spinner has asked the Sports Department and Sports Council of Punjab to find out the reason. The Punjab cricketer said he had filled by form by the due date.
In a video posted on his offical Youtube channel, Harbhajan said, "I request the Sports Department & Sports Council Punjab to look into this matter. How did the procedure got delayed? As far as I know, I had filed the form by March 20 and I had submitted it as well, the form was to reach Delhi in 10-15 days, if the procedure was completed in due time, maybe I would have received the award."
The 39-year-old Chennai Super Kings spinner said that accolades help a sportsperson give him/her an incentive to perform better.
"If a sportsperson gets any accolade, it gives the person recognition and incentive to keep on performing. If the procedure continues to get delayed, the sportsperson may get disheartened," Harbhajan added further.
Harbhajan 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 Wednesday.
Harbhajan claimed that he furnished the relevant documents on March 20 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 March 20 with your (Sodhi) office and this form was supposed to reach Delhi within 10-15 days and why it was not submitted timely. Had this form 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.
(With inputs from PTI)