India’s captain Mithali Raj became the first cricketer to be honored with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award on Saturday. The 38-year-old is the leading cricketer on the international circuit.
In addition to Mithali, India’s starting hitter Shikhar Dhawan received the Arjuna award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the same event.
The BCCI praised the duo’s achievements and shared the video of them being honored by the president on social media.
Meanwhile, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah also took note of Mithali’s achievements, saying that everyone is “proud” of the India test and the ODI pattern.
The 38-year-old stalwart of Indian women’s cricket, who was one of 12 athletes to receive the Khel Ratna, the country’s highest sporting honor, from the president.
“Women in sports are powerful catalysts for change and when they get the recognition they deserve, they inspire change in several other women who want to achieve their dreams,” Raj said in a statement on her Twitter account.
“I sincerely hope that my trip inspires young women across the country to pursue their dreams and know that only when you dream can you make it come true.”
Meanwhile, India’s Tokyo Olympian star Neeraj Chopra also received the Khel Ratna.
The event was held in the Durbar Hall of the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi, and in addition to featuring twelve Khel Ratna, the president also presented 35 athletes with the Arjuna award.