The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday congratulated Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana on being honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna award respectively.
Virat, the captain of men’s team, was conferred the highest sporting honour in the country by President Ram Nath Kovind in the National Sports Awards ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Smriti, the vice-captain of the women’s T20I team, who was honoured with the Arjuna award, was absent from the ceremony as she is currently on national duty in Sri Lanka. While Virat has successfully led India in different formats topping the batting charts, Smriti has been scoring heavily at the top of the order with much flair.
Congratulating the duo, BCCI acting President CK Khanna said, “National Sports Awards are given to recognise and reward excellence in sports. Both Virat and Smriti have been excellent and it is a proud moment for the BCCI to see them get these awards.”
“Virat is the No. 1 batsman in Tests as well as ODIs and an exceptional leader. Smriti’s batting skills have been appreciated by one and all and she has a knack of getting big scores outside India,” he added.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 25, 2018
Kohli became the third Indian cricketer, after Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007), to receive the Khel Ratna award.