Mithali Raj to be conferred with Khel Ratna award
Indian legend Mithali Raj is set to be conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. Mithali, who captains Team India in ODI and Test cricket, was among the cricketers recommended by the BCCI in June this year. She has become the first female cricketer to receive the prestigious award. Besides, Shikhar Dhawan will receive the Arjuna award. Here are further details.
BCCI had recommended Mithali's name for the award
The BCCI had decided to recommend the names of Mithali and spinner R Ashwin for the Khel Ratna award. Meanwhile, the names of KL Rahul, Jasprit Bumrah, and Shikhar Dhawan were forwarded for the Arjuna award.
The flag-bearer of women's cricket
Mithali has been the flag-bearer of women's cricket. In March, she became the first Indian batter (women's) to complete 10,000 runs in international cricket. Mithali is the leading run-scorer in ODI cricket. She owns 7,391 runs from 220 ODIs at a formidable average of 51.32. She remains the only female cricketer to score 6,000 and 7,000 runs in ODI cricket.
A look at her notable feats
Mithali made her ODI debut on June 26, 1999 against Ireland Women. Her international career has spanned over two decades (over 22 years). Till date, Mithali remains the youngest female cricketer (16 years and 205 days) to score an ODI hundred. She did so in her debut ODI against Ireland Women (1999). Mithali is followed by Laura Wolvaardt (17y, 105d) on this list.
Dhawan to receive the Arjuna award
While Mithali has won the Khel Ratna, Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan will receive the Arjuna award for his contributions on the field. Dhawan has represented India in 34 Tests, 145 ODIs, and 68 T20Is. Like Mithali, he has also tallied over 10,000 runs (10,179) for India in international cricket. Dhawan holds the record for scoring a hundred on Test debut.
A look at the notable facts
In 2020, Rohit Sharma (cricket), Mariyappan Thangavelu (Paralympic high jump), Manika Batra (table tennis), Vinesh Phogat (wrestling), and Rani Rampal (hockey) were the recipients of the Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honor. Rohit was the fourth cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli to be conferred with the award. Meanwhile, Mithali has become the first female cricketer to attain this distinction.