The Khel Ratna Award, also known as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Awards is the highest sporting honor of India, issued every year by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
It began in 1991-1992 and is awarded keeping in mind the performance of a sportsperson in a year. Last year in 2020, it was Rohit Sharma who was honored with the prestigious Khel Ratna Award. As per the 2021 nominations, the Indian Women’s Cricket Captain, the leading run-scorer, and an all-time legend – Mithali Raj has been nominated for the award.
Mithali Raj was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2003 by the Government of India for her outstanding achievement in sports. Mithali Raj was also awarded the Padma Shri, the 4th highest civilian award in the Republic of India in the year 2015.
Mithali Raj has now added another feather to her illustrious cap – becoming the first female cricketer to be recommended for Khel Ratna Award.
Besides Mithali Raj, several athletes who performed extraordinarily well in the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year made it to the coveted list.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) October 27, 2021
11 athletes nominated for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna
Neeraj Chopra (Javelin)
Ravi Dahiya (Wrestling)
Sunil Chhetri (Football)
Mithali Raj (Cricket)
P Sreejesh (Hockey)
Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing)
Pramod Bhagat (Para-badminton player)
Avani Lekhara (Para rifle shooter)
Sumit Antil (Para javelin thrower)
Krishna Nagar (Para-badminton)
Manish Narwal (Para pistol shooter)