Indian double trap shooter Ronjan Sodhi recently caught up with Sportskeeda, and during the interaction, he discussed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award's significance.
Having received the prize for his excellent shooting performances, Sodhi feels that legendary Indian cricketers Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble also deserved to win the award.
In an exclusive chat with Shanivi Sadana on Sportskeeda's Facebook page, Ronjan Sodhi said that he was happy to have won the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award because not every prominent Indian sportsperson has received it.
Recently, the government announced five recipients for this prize in 2020. Indian cricket team vice-captain Rohit Sharma, Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu, Indian women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal, table tennis star Manika Batra and amateur wrestler Vinesh Phogat received the award this year.
Earlier, the sports ministry gave this award to only one player in a year. However, they have increased the number now. Cricketers like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, and MS Dhoni have won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in their careers. However, Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid did not receive the highest sports honour in India.
'If they can give five this year, they could have given much more earlier': Ronjan Sodhi believes Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble should have received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Speaking about the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award that he received in 2013, Ronjan Sodhi said:
"See, whenever you are given an award for your performances, you always feel good. I should have got it before, but it is also a good feeling, you know, because not many sportspersons in the country get the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. So, it's always nice to have another feather in your cap."
Ronjan Sodhi is a former World No. 1 double trap shooter who won a gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games.
Former Indian cricketers Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble had also been quite successful in the cricket world. Both players led the Indian cricket team in the Test format. While Anil Kumble picked up over 950 international wickets for India, Rahul Dravid aggregated over 24,000 internationals runs in his career.
When asked if the two veterans should have received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Ronjan Sodhi replied:
"100%, 100%. If they can give five this year, they could have given much more earlier."
Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble are still serving cricket in India. The former is the NCA head right now, whereas the latter is coaching the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL.
Published 24 Oct 2020, 14:00 IST