The Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) has congratulated Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana for being conferred with India's highest sporting honour on Tuesday (September 25).
Kohli, Captain of the Indian Cricket Team, was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, while Indian batswomen Mandhana was honoured with the Arjuna award by President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday evening at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
With the honor, the 29-year-old became the third Indian cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar (in 1997) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (in 2007) to receive the prestigious award for their contribution to the game. While India Women’s T20 skipper, Harmanpreet Kaur is the tenth woman cricketer to win the Arjuna award.
CoA chairman Vinod Rai congratulated Kohli and Mandhana for being conferred with top honours by the Government of India, saying that the BCCI are extremely proud on them. He further went on to laud the dashing right-hander, saying it is a testimony of his hard work and dedication.
Rai said in a BCCI statement, “We are extremely proud that Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana are being conferred with top honours by the Government of India. Virat is just the third Indian cricketer to receive the prestigious Khel Ratna award. This is a testimony to his work ethic, dedication and unwavering focus.”
The statement further reads, “He has led India with distinction and at the same time, set new records with the bat. Playing different formats of the game, Virat has shown amazing consistency leading the side by example. This Indian team is one of the fittest sides in world cricket and a lot of credit must go to the Indian captain for bringing about this transformation.”