New Delhi, Sep 17: Names of Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu have been recommended for this year’s Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award — the country’s highest sporting honour.
Cricketer Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu have been recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award: Khel Ratna, Arjuna Award committee sources pic.twitter.com/SSlDHjlY4I
— ANI (@ANI) September 17, 2018
Kohli currently leads the ICC Test rankings for batsmen and has been in excellent form. If approved by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Kohli will become the third cricketer to get the Khel Ratna after the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and the double world cup-winning captain skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007).
The BCCI has been nominating Kohli for the Khel Ratna for the past three years but in 2016, it was given to Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu and Deepa Karmakar for their good show at the Rio Olympic Games.
Last year, the Khel Ratna was awarded to former India hockey captain Sardar Singh and para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia. Kohli is one of those rare sportspersons, who has received Padma Shri award (2017) before Khel Ratna. This year, Kohli was a favourite after having led India to victories against England and Australia at home and away wins against West Indies and Sri Lanka. The Indian team has also won limited-overs series in South Africa under Kohli’s leadership.
Chanu, on the other hand, would join the likes of Karnam Malleswari and Nameirakpam Kunjarani who had received the award in 1995 and 1996, respectively.
The weightlifter had clinched a gold medal in 48 kg category at the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast, Queensland in Australia.