New Delhi: Indian Skipper Virat Kohli was presented with the prestigious Khel Ratna award on Tuesday by President Ram Nath Kovind in an official ceremony – where his mother Saroj Kohli and his wife Anushka Sharma were seen sharing the moment. The ceremony is currently underway at the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi.
This is a big moment for the Indian captain who is also the ICC World No 1 batsman in both the formats. Virat Kohli becomes the third Indian cricketer to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Sachin and Dhoni the only other two to receive the honour.
The 29-year-old Kohli has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons.
The Khel Ratna is the highest honour given to a sportsperson. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, Dronacharya Award, Arjuna Award, Dhyan Chand Award, Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar and Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy are the six different categories of awards presented in the ceremony. Not just the sportspersons, but the prizes are also presented to their coaches.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has also bagged the award for making India proud at the Commonwealth Games 2018, where she got a gold medal in women’s 48 kg category with a world record to her name.
The President will also present the Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awards on Tuesday itself.
Meanwhile, star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was among 20 sportspersons picked for the Arjuna Awards, who will also be honoured by the President.
On Wednesday, archery coach Jiwanjot Singh Teja was dropped from the list of Dronacharya award nominees due to a past case of indiscipline. Teja was among five coaches named by the selection committee for Dronacharya award but it came to light that he had served a one-year ban following an incident of indiscipline during the 2015 World University Games in Korea.