India women’s Test and ODI captain Mithali Raj, on Saturday, became the first female cricketer to be awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award – which is the highest sporting honour in India.
President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the National Sports Awards 2021 on Saturday at a ceremony in Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi. A total of 12 sportspersons, including Tokyo Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, were presented with 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.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) November 13, 2021
Shikhar Dhawan honoured with Arjuna Award
India’s white-ball opener Shikhar Dhawan was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award from the President.
Shikhar Dhawan remains a key player in India’s ODI team but has been dropped from the Test and T20I sides. The left-hander has amassed 10179 international runs across formats so far in his career and has struck 24 centuries.
Dhawan was the Player Of The Series in India’s victorious 2013 Champions Trophy campaign – the opener scored 363 runs in 5 matches in the tournament at an average of 90.75.
Along with Dhawan, a total of 35 Indian athletes have been awarded the Arjuna Award including members of the Indian Hockey Team which won the Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics earlier in the year.Dhawan, who was excluded from the T20 World Cup squad with Ishan Kishan preferred over him, has not been picked for the upcoming New Zealand T20I series as well.
— ANI (@ANI) November 13, 2021