Virat Kohli, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu recommended for Khel Ratna award

Virat Kohli, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu recommended for Khel Ratna award

Shuttler Kidambi Srikanth has also been recommended for the same. However, his recommendation is reportedly subject to the Sports Ministry's approval.

Virat Kohli and  Saikhom Mirabai Chanu have been recommended for this years Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. (File Photo)

Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli has been recommended for this year’s prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and shuttler Kidambi Srikanth’s names have also been endorsed for the same. However, Srikanth’s recommendation is reportedly subject to the Sports Ministry’s approval. These recommendations are subject to approval by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore. Once ratified by him, President Ram Nath Kovind will present the awards on September 25 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra has been selected for the Arjuna Awards. Sprinters Hima Das, Jinson Johnson, cricketer Smriti Mandhana, hockey players Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia, Manika Batra and Rohan Bopanna have also been recommended for the Arjuna Awards. Here is the full list:

# Neeraj Chopra (Athletics)
# Jinson Johnson (Athletics)
# Hima Das (Athletics)
# N Sikki Reddy (Badminton)
# Satish Kumar (Boxing)
# Smriti Mandhana (Cricket)
# Shubhankar Sharma (Golf)
# Manpreet Singh (Hockey)
# Savita (Hockey)
# Ravi Rathore (Polo)
# Rahi Sarnobat (Shooting)
# Ankur Mittal (Shooting)
# Shreyasi Singh (Shooting)
# Manika Batra (Table Tennis)
# G Sathiyan (Table Tennis)
# Rohan Bopanna (Tennis)

If approved by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Kohli will become the third cricketer to get the award after Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and MS Dhoni (2007). Chanu impressed one and all with a tremendous performance at the World Championships last year where she won the gold medal in the 48kg category. She also bagged the yellow metal in this year’s Commonwealth Games but didn’t compete at the Asian Games due to injury. If Chanu does go on to win the prize then she will follow the footsteps of Karnam Malleswari (1995-Weightlifting) and Nameirakpam Kunjarani (Weightlifting-1996).

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.  “Yes, Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu’s names have been recommended by the awards committee,” a top source told PTI on condition of anonymity.


(With inputs from PTI)