Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli today received the fourth highest civilian award, Padma Shri, from President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Kohli has in the last year delivered some phenomenal performances and even led the team to unprecedented success. In fact, he even led the tram to the No 1 position in test matches after he took over the reins from Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He was also the Player of the Tournament at the Twenty Championship where India reached the semi-finals. At the individual level, he remained top three in the rankings for batsmen across all the three formats.
Virat was amongst the eight sportspersons who were awarded this prestigious award this year. The other awardees included hockey captain PR Sreejesh, Rio Olympics heroes wrestler Sakshi Malik, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Paralympian Mariyappan Thangavelu and Deepa Malik, discus thrower Vikas Gowda and blind cricket team captain Shekhar Naik.
The government had announced a total of 89 names who received the coveted award this year on the eve of Republic Day. However, there was no sportspersons name in the Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan list.
An elated Virat Kohli posted a heartfelt message on Instagram post receiving the award. “What an absolute honour and a memorable day to receive the Padma Shri award from the president of India. These days last for a lifetime. Gods been kind. Jai hind,” he wrote.
Besides Kohli, seven other sportspersons were awarded Padma Shri are Rio Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik, Paralympians Mariyappan Thangavelu and Deepa Malik, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, Indian hockey captain PR Sreejesh, discus thrower Vikas Gowda and blind cricket team captain Shekar Naik.