Virat Kohli has been in sublime form this year, leading from the front for both his national side India and his IPL side RCB
Ecstatic with Virat Kohli being nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, coach Raj Kumar Sharma on Tuesday admitted that the honour would be an added motivation for the India’s Test skipper. Kohli, who claimed the Arjuna Award in 2013, was named by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the Khel Ratna after he single-handedly guided India to the semi-finals of the World T20. The 27-year-old was adjudged as the ‘Man of the Tournament’ for accumulating a staggering 273 runs in his five innings at an average of 136.50. He was also named the captain of the World T20 XI.
“Undoubtedly it is a very proud moment and it is a big honour for any sports person to be nominated for the Khel Ratna. So, I am really feeling very proud. I have just congratulated him and he was also happy and excited about it,” Sharma said in an exclusive interview to ANI. “Yes it is the biggest motivation for any cricketer or any sports person. This is something which you look forward to achieve. This is the highest award for any sportsperson and Virat will be more than excited to receive this if he gets it. He has not received it yet but getting nominated is also a big honour and this will an added motivation for Virat who is already very hungry to do something for his country,” he added.
Describing Kohli as a ‘dedicated’ player, Sharma said that the prolific batsman had contributed tremendously for India and that his hard work has finally paid off. It is after a gap of four years that a cricketer has been recommended by the BCCI for the Khel Ratna. Earlier, former captain Rahul Dravid was nominated for the prestigious award in 2012. Legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and current limited-overs skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni are the only Indian cricketers to have received the Khel Ratna so far. The coveted award carries a cash price of Rs. 7.5 lakh along with a citation.