Indian captain Virat Kohli received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award from India President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday.
The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, officially known as Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games. It is the highest sporting honour of the Republic of India.
Kohli is the world’s No.1 Test batsman as per the ICC rankings. He is at the top of the game for the past three years. Virat Kohli was nominated for Khel Ratna Award in the years 2016 and 2017 but he missed out on those ocassion. He becomes the third cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni to receive this award. MS Dhoni recently completed his 200 th match as Indian Captain.
The 29-year-old currently has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs with 35 tons. He has scored 58 tons in international cricket and is second in the list. The first in the list is Tendulkar with 100 international centuries.
Kohli is one of those rare sportspersons, who has received Padma Shri award (2017) before Khel Ratna. This year, Kohli was a favourite after having led India to victories against England and Australia at home and away wins against West Indies and Sri Lanka.
The Indian team has also won limited-overs series in South Africa, Australia an England under Kohli’s leadership.
He is a member of the 2011 ICC World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy winning team. Kohli was also the member of 2015 ICC World Cup team. He also led the team to the finals of the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy.
Kohli has also been the recipient of ICC’s ‘ODI Cricketer of the Year’ in 2012 and 2017 along with the sport’s highest honour – the ICC Cricketer of the Year. Kohli has won the Indian Cricketer of the Year five times.