Excellent performance in sports does not give only name, fame and money but also gives a lot of personal pride and national honour. This fact is about to prove as a reality as the names of two of India’s heroic sports persons namely Virat Kohli (Cricket) and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting) have been nominated for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards 2018.
The captain of the Indian cricket team Virat Kohli has been playing with sublime form in the recent past. Regarded as the best batsman in the world in current cricket by many cricketing experts Kohli has been able to convert his superb talent into practical performance especially in the recent Test series against England where he amassed 593 runs to his account becoming the player of the series for the tournament. It is remarkable that Kohli’s name was recommended for this prestigious award even during the previous two years but unfortunately he was not chosen for the award at those times. Finally, if he gets this award this year, he will become the third Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and M S Dhoni (2007) to be acknowledged with Khel Ratna award.
The name of Mirabai Chanu was an unanimous choice for recommending it for this honour as she was able to impress everyone with a superb performance at the World Championships last year where she had grabbed a gold medal in the 48kg category. Not only that, she had also been able to win a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games held this year but was unable to participate in the Asian games due to injury. If she is lucky enough to get this prestigious honour, then she will also be the third weightlifter to do so after Karnam Malleswari (1995) and Nameirakpam Kunjarani (1996).
Both these names along with names of other players for the Arjuna award have been recommended by the 11 member award committee. This committee was lead by retired Delhi high court judge, Justice Indermeet Kaul Kochhar. The list of all the sports persons will now be handed over to the union sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for the final approval. If approved, the selected players will be honoured with the national honour by President Ram Nath Kovind on September 25 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Anyway, such honours surely work as a great source of inspiration and motivation for the young and talented sports brigade of the country and encourage them to perform better in their respective field of sports.