Virat Kohli conferred with the country's highest sporting honour - the Khel Ratna Award

Virat Kohli conferred with the country’s highest sporting honour – the Khel Ratna Award

Virat is only the third cricketer to receive this award.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli receives the Khel Ratna award. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The Indian skipper Virat Kohli stood beside the President of India, to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on Tuesday. The Khel Ratna Award is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India. In a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi, the President Shri Ramnath Kovind presented Virat with the award. The cricketer was accompanied by his actor wife Anushka Sharma, his mother Saroj Kohli and his elder brother Vikas at the ceremony.

He received the award along with diminutive weightlifting world champion Mirabai Chanu. It was announced by the Indian government last week that Kohli would receive the award. The 29-year-old is the first cricketer since 2007 to be bestowed with this award. Previously, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni has given this honour in 2007. Furthermore, he is only the third cricketer who is a Khel Ratna awardee with Sachin Tendulkar being the first to receive the glory in 1998.

A moment to cherish forever

Although the ceremony is usually held on August 29 to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, it was pushed to September 25 this year. This was done so as to avoid a clash of dates with the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang on September 2.

Apart from the Khel Ratna awards, the Arjuna awards and the Dhyan Chand awards were also given away. Tarak Singh, childhood coach of Rishabh Pant, Ashish Nehra, Shikhar Dhawan and many other international cricketers, was one of the eight coaches who was handed the Dhyan Chand award by the President. Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who won gold medals in the Commonwealth and Asian Games this year, and junior world champion sprinter Hima Das were among the 20 sportspersons who received the Arjuna Awards.

Virat won the Arjuna Award in 2013 and Padma Shri last year. The Khel Ratna award carries a purse prize of ₹7.5 lakhs.

Here is the video of Virat Kohli receiving the award:

List of Awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award: Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu.

Arjuna Awards: Neeraj Chopra, Jinson Johnson and Hima Das (Athletics); N Sikki Reddy (Badminton); Satish Kumar (Boxing); Smriti Mandhana (Cricket); Shubhankar Sharma (Golf); Manpreet Singh, Savita (Hockey), Ravi Rathore (Polo), Rahi Sarnobat, Ankur Mittal, Shreyasi Singh (Shooting); Manika Batra, G Sathiyan (Table Tennis); Rohan Bopanna (Tennis); Sumit (Wrestling); Pooja Kadian (Wushu); Ankur Dhama (Para-Athletics); Manoj Sarkar (Para-Badminton).

Dronacharya Awards: C A Kuttappa (Boxing); Vijay Sharma (Weightlifting); A Srinivasa Rao (Table Tennis); Sukhdev Singh Pannu (Athletics); Clarence Lobo (Hockey, Lifetime); Tarak Sinha (Cricket, Lifetime); Jiwan Kumar Sharma (Judo, Lifetime); V R Beedu (Athletics, Lifetime).

Dhyan Chand Awards: Satyadev Prasad (Archery); Bharat Kumar Chetry (Hockey); Bobby Aloysius (Athletics); Chougale Dadu Dattatray (Wrestling).

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2018:

1) Identification and Nurturing of Budding & Young Talent: Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited.
2) Encouragement to Sports through Corporate Social Responsibility: JSW Sports
3) Sports for Development: Isha Outreach Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2017-18: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

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