India cricket captain and superstar Virat Kohli , who has been rested for the on-going Asia Cup 2018 and world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu were jointly recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour – the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award .
If he does get the award then Kohli will become the third Indian cricketer after legendary Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and the talismanic former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007) once the sports ministry officially accepts the committee’s recommendation.
“Yes, Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu’s names have been recommended by the awards committee,” a top source told PTI on condition of anonymity.
Kohli, the world’s No.1 Test batsman as per the ICC rankings, has been in stupendous form for the past three years and missed out despite nominations in the years 2016 and 2017. The 29-year-old currently has 6147 runs in 71 Tests with 23 centuries and 9779 runs in 211 ODIs, including 35 tons.
With a combined 58 tons in international cricket, he is only second to Sachin Tendulkar (100) in the list of century-scorers in international cricket.
For Chanu, the award comes as a massive morale-booster as she is currently recovering from a lower back injury, which forced her to skip the Asian Games in Jakarta.
She is the current Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and India’s only medal hope in weightlifting going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.