India women’s Test and ODI captain Mithali Raj has been nominated for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award – which is the highest sporting honour in India – by the national sports awards committee on Wednesday.
Ten other Indian athletes from various discipliones were recommended alongside Mithali Raj by the committee for this prestigious award, most notably among them is Neeraj Chopra, who secured a gold medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 in Javelin.
Other Olympic medal winners – Ravi Dahiya, PR Sreejesh and Lovlina Borgohai -have also been nominated. Football legend Sunil Chhetri becomes the first Indian footballer to be recommended for the Khel Ratna Award.
Mithali Raj is the leading run-scorer in women’s cricket – she has amassed 7391 ODI runs, 2364 T20I runs, and 699 Test runs in her career which began in 1999. She doesn’t play in the shortest format anymore, but leads the nation in ODI and Test cricket; Mithali Raj, 38, is perhaps eyeing next year’s ODI World Cup as her swansong.
Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma are the men’s cricketers who have previously won this distinguished award.
Paralympian Avani Lekhara, who became the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Paralympics, has also been recommended for the Khel Ratna Award. along with Sumit Antil, the gold medalist in F64 para javelin throw at Paralympics 2020.
Also, 35 Indian athletes have been recommended for the Arjuna Award.
Mithali Raj among 11 nominated for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award:
Here is a list of 11 Indian athletes who have been recommended for the Khel Ratna Award:
Neeraj Chopra (Athletics)
Ravi Dahiya (Wrestling)
PR Sreejesh (Hockey)
Lovlina Borgohai (Boxing)
Sunil Chhetri (Football)
Mithali Raj (Cricket)
Pramod Bhagat (Badminton)
Sumit Antil (Javelin)
Avani Lekhara (Shooting)
Krishna Nagar (Badminton)
M Narwal (Shooting)
Earlier this year, under Mithali Raj, India lost the ODI series in England and Australia and drew the one-off Test on both tours.