Kanpur, January 27: Virat Kohli, the run machine and the captain of Indian cricket team said, “Padma Shri award is an appreciation by the whole country.” He further said that it is a huge honour and a very proud moment for him.
Notably, Kohli was in Kanpur for the ongoing first T20I match against England, while talking to BCCI said that he got the news on Wednesday. Kohli firstly thanked all his fans and well-wishers after being named for the prestigious Padma Shri, the country's fourth highest civilian award.
"It's a huge honour for me to win the Padma Shri award, the fourth highest civilian award in this country. It's not just related to sports but it's an appreciation shown by the whole country. It gives me huge pleasure to receive this award," Kohli said. "It's something that I'm very grateful off, I got to know this yesterday. My family, my coach and all the people close to me are very happy about it. It is indeed a very proud moment for me," Kohli further added.
"It was I guess the perfect timing you know announcing a National award on Republic Day. I would like to wish everybody a very Happy Republic Day. I hope they enjoy the day and keep the patriotism alive in their hearts," Kohli said in the end.
Kohli captained India in a Twenty20 International for the first time yesterday at Kanpur's Green Park Stadium. However, his leadership debut in the shortest format of the game ended in a 7-wicket defeat to England. India and England will face off again in the 2nd T20I in Nagpur on Sunday (January 29). The series ends in Bengaluru on February 1.
Kohli joins Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh and other cricketers in the Padma Shri awardees list.
Kohli had the successful year of 2016, leading from the from the front for Test team get No.1 rank, with series wins over the West Indies, New Zealand and England. He was also the Player of the Tournament at the Twenty Championship where India reached the semi-finals. Individually, he always remained top three in the rankings for batsmen across all the three formats.