New Delhi [India], Aug.29 :Ecstatic after receiving the Dronacharya Award, Virat Kohli's childhood coach Raj Kumar Sharma on Monday vowed to keep working hard in his bid to produce many more good cricketers for the country in the future.
Admitting that it was a proud moment for him, an elated Raj Kumar insisted that no gong could be bigger for a coach than receiving a Dronacharya award.
"It is the biggest award a coach can get and it's a very proud moment for me getting this prestigious award.
I am thankful to the Government and ministry for giving me this award," the former Ranji player told ANI.
Raj Kumar, however, believes there is still a long way to go to be on par with renowned cricket coach Ramakant Achrekar, who guided legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.
"Ramakant Achrekar has been a great coach. I have to go a long way to equal his credentials. I will work very hard and would try to produce more good cricketers for the country," he added. The 51-year-old, who also coached fast bowler Ishant Sharma, said that although Kohli was not able to accompany him in the ceremony, the Test skipper was really happy to see him getting the award.
"Congratulations Raj Kumar Sir, All the hard work behind the bigger picture never gets noticed. I am delighted for you on getting the Dronacharya Award," Kohli had earlier tweeted. "I told Virat about this award and he was more than happy and was very excited that I am getting this Dronacharya Award.
He tweeted about it also. He was very happy and he wished me," Raj Kumar said. The specially organised ceremony was held at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on the occasion of National Sports Day, celebrated in dedication to the great hockey player Dhyan Chand.
The government also bestowed the Dronacharya Award, the honour for excellence in sports coaching, to Nagapuri Ramesh (Athletics), Sagar Mal Dhayal (Boxing), Bishweshwar Nandi (Gymnastics), S.
Pradeep Kumar (Swimming, Lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (Wrestling, Lifetime). President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the country's highest sporting honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award to Rio medallists PV Sindhu, Sakshi Malik along with gymnast Dipa Karmakar and ace shooter Jitu Rai.
The prestigious award is given for the spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years.
This is for the first time that the award has been conferred on four athletes. In addition, 15 sportspersons across various disciplines were honoured with the Arjuna Award for their consistent performance in the last four years.
This list is as follows: Rajat Chauhan (Archery), Lalita Babar (Athletics), Sourav Kothari (Billiards (and) Snooker), Shiva Thapa (Boxing), Ajinkya Rahane (Cricket), Subrata Paul (Football), Rani (Hockey), Raghunath V.R.
(Hockey), Gurpreet Singh (Shooting), Apurvi Chandela (Shooting), Soumyajit Ghosh (Table Tennis), Vinesh (Wrestling), Amit Kumar (Wrestling), Sandeep Singh Mann (Para-Athletics), Virender Singh (Wrestling, Deaf).
Satti Geetha (Athletics), Sylvanus Dung Dung (Hockey), Rajendra Pralhad Shelke (Rowing) were given the Dhyan Chand Award for their life time contribution to sports development.