New Delhi: Indian Cricket skipper Virat Kohli and world champion Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu will receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna from President Ram Nath Kovind on the 25th of this month, the Sports Ministry announced on Thursday evening.
Kohli will become the third Indian cricketer after legendary Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007) to get the country’s highest sports award.
The 29-year-old Kohli, the world’s Number One Test batsman as per the ICC rankings, has been in stupendous form in the past three years though he missed out of the top award despite nominations in 2016 and 2017.
He has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons.
Chanu will be conferred the prestigious award following her gold medal in 48-kilogram category at the World Championships last year. She also bagged the yellow metal in this year’s Commonwealth Games but did not compete at the Asian Games due to injury.
As many as twenty sports persons will be honoured with Arjuna Awards.
CWG and Asiad gold medalist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, Asiad double medalist sprinter Hima Das and Indian batswoman Smriti Mandhana are some the names in the list.
The President will also present the Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awards on the same day.