Cricketers Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma yesterday received their Arjuna awards, for this year and last year respectively, from Sports Minister Vijay Goel at Delhi. Both, currently named for the New Zealand tour of India, had missed the official ceremony earlier due to international commitments.
Ajinkya Rahane was one among 14 to receive the prestigious award this year along with Indian national football goalkeeper Subrata Paul and national hockey team's drag-flick specialist V Raghunath.
Rohit Sharma had been conferred the award for 2015 along with 16 others – shooter Jitu Rai, badminton ace Kidambi Srikanth, hockey captain P R Sreejesh and Dipa Karmakar had also received the award.
Speaking on the occasion, the Sports Minister talked about how the Government is encouraging sports other than cricket as well. Although cricket is among the most popular games in India, they are committed to promoting indigenous and other sports as well, he said, reported PTI.
The Minister also said that India's para-athletes at the ongoing Games in Rio de Janeiro have made every Indian proud.
The Arjuna Awards, instituted in 1961, are given to sportspersons for consistent and outstanding performance for four years and include a prize money of Rs 5 lakh.