BCCI congratulates Virat Kohli, Smriti Mandhana

The Board of Control for Cricket In India (BCCI) today congratulated  Virat Kohli and Smriti Mandhana for being honoured with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award  and the Arjuna Award respectively.

Earlier, in April, the BCCI had nominated India captain Virat Kohli for Khel Ratna Award,  the highest sporting honour in the country and Smriti Mandhana, vice-captain of the Indian  Women’s T2O team for the Arjuna Award.

Both these cricketers have been proven performers and have set high benchmarks in a  short period of time. 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.

Vinod Rai, Chairman, CoA, said, “We are extremely proud that Virat Kohli and Smriti  Mandhana are being conferred with top honours by the Government of India. Virat is just  the third Indian cricketer to receive the prestigious Khel Ratna award. This is a testimony  to his work ethic, dedication and unwavering focus. He has led India with distinction and  at the same time, set new records with the bat.”

“Playing different formats of the game, Virat has shown amazing consistency leading  the side by example. This Indian team is one of the fittest sides in world cricket and a lot  of credit must go to the Indian captain for bringing about this transformation,” he added.

Diana Edulji, member CoA, said, “I congratulate Virat and Smriti for this honour. I am  very happy to see Smriti get the award at such a young age. She has scored centuries  in Australia, England, South Africa and proved that she thrives in difficult conditions.”

“I am sure this award will push more people to take note of the progress the Indian  Women’s team is making. Young girls playing cricket emulate the stars and Smriti is  setting a fine example both on and off the field,” Diana said.

BCCI acting president CK Khanna said, “National Sports Awards are given to recognize  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,” Khanna said.

BCCI acting Secretary Amitabh Choudhary said, “The Khel Ratna award is yet another  feather in Virat Kohli’s cap. He was named the ICC Player of the Year in 2017, he swept  the BCCI awards and has now been conferred with the highest sporting award, which is  truly a remarkable feat. His hunger for runs is insatiable and I am sure under his leadership,  the Indian team will be a top-ranked side in all three formats.”

Smriti Mandhana has proved her batting prowess against quality sides. Her powerful  stroke-making and fearless approach has won her praise all over the world. Indian cricket  fans have high expectations from her and I am sure she will play a stellar role in the  upcoming ICC World T20,” Choudhary added.

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