Indian star cricketer Virat Kohli has received a recommendation for the most prestigious honour for a sportsman in the country, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Along with only KohIi, another sportsperson to be recommended for the prestigious honour is also world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu.
In addition to the joint recommendation for the highest honour of the nation, there are other recommendations for a host of other awards as well. These include javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, junior world champion sprinter Hima Das, Asian Games gold-medallist middle distance runner Jinson Johnson, hockey players Manpreet Singh and Savita Punia, cricketer Smriti Mandhana, Asian Games doubles gold-medallist tennis player Rohan Bopanna, multiple Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Manika Batra, and some others. Notably, a total of 20 sportspersons’ names are recommended for the prestigious Arjuna Award.
Recommendation of the players’ names does not mean selection for the awards as these will need to be duly approved by Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore followed by President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the awards on September 25 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Whatever the final decision may be, but this must be mentioned here that gaining a recommendation for the awards too is a matter of honour for the sportspersons.
If Virat Kohli receives the selection for the Khel Ratna award then he will become the third Indian cricketer to receive this prestigious honour. He will be following the two ace India cricketers the legendary Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and the former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007) in this category.
The recipient of the Khel Ratna award obtains a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh, while the Arjuna winners get Rs 5 lakh. Although a lot many names of sportspersons were being considered before finalizing the names of the recommendations for the Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards, not everybody can be included in the list. Moreover, there are instances of some tremendous performers on the international front who later had disappointed by failing the dope test. This compelled the selection committee to limit the list of Arjuna Awards recommendations to 20 only.