The former Indian opener, Gautam Gambhir, football Sunil Chhetri, archer Bombayla Devi, and basketball player Prashanti Singh receive the prestigious Padma Award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapathi Bhawan.
In total, eight sports personalities from the country were conferred with the national honour in 2019.
On Monday, wrestler Bajrang Punia, table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal, Kabaddi star Ajay Thakur and chess player Harika Dronavalli received their Padma awards in a separate ceremony. Mountaineering legend Bachendri Pal also received the Padma Bhushan award.
The awards are given in art, social work, public affairs, science and engineering, trade and industry, medicine, literature and education, sports and civil service among others. The Padma Shri is awarded for distinguished service in any field, while the Padma Vibhushan is awarded for exceptional and distinguished service. Padma Bhushan is for distinguished service of high order.
This is for all the supporters of Indian cricket and my critics. Both have played a part in my journey…some day will discuss who played more than the other @BCCI #padmashriaward pic.twitter.com/zrMrAEikKB
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) March 16, 2019
Gambhir took to his social media to thank both critics and supporters. He wrote on Twitter. Gautam Gambhir walked on to the stage while Prime Minister Narendra Modi alongside Home Minister Rajnath Sigh watched on. The decorated batsman retired from all forms of Cricket in December 2018. The former Indian batsman has represented the country in 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 Tests.
Indian football team captain Sunil Chhetri is one of the most celebrated talents in the sport for India. He is one of the most active scorers internationally and the Bengaluru FC striker had gone past Argentina great Lionel Messi’s tally when he scored a brace in India’s AFC Asian Cup win over Thailand in January.
Here’s a shoutout to all these sporting marvels on receiving the honour!