India’s middle order batsman, Ajinkya Rahane has become the 49th Indian cricketer to be awarded with Arjuna Award, the most prestigious award for a sportsman. Today, on the National Sports Day the Sports Ministry honored him with the award for his dedication and excellence in sports for the period of 4 years.
“I would like to thank BCCI, all my fans, the sports ministry for this award. It means a lot to me. I’m sure this award will motivate and inspire me to do well,” Rahane said via a video message on Twitter on Monday (August 22)
Rahane is the fourth-highest run-getter for India in the last four years in Tests, behind Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Murali Vijay. He has scored 1862 runs in 26 Tests at an average of 49 with seven centuries to his name. In addition to the brilliant run in the longest format of the game, he has scored 1753 runs in 56 One-Day Internationals and 303 runs in 16 Twenty20 Internationals.
The star cricketer received the Award from President Pranab Mukherjee alongside archer Rajat Chauhan, athlete Lalita Babar, cueist Sourav Kothari, boxer Shiva Thapa, footballer Subrata Paul, hockey stars V.R. Raghunath and Rani Rampal, shooters Gurpreet Singh, Apurvi Chandela, paddler Somyajit Ghosh, wrestlers Vinesh Phohat, Amit Kumar, Para-athletes Sandeep Singh Maan and Virender Singh.
Virats Kohli’s first coach, Rajkumar Sharma will also receive the Dronacharya award for his services to cricket. He played nine first-class games and three List A matches between 1986 and 1989.