The first footballer to be conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, Sunil Chhetri credited his longevity at the top level as the reason for bagging the highest sporting honour of the country.
One of the primary reasons why I got the Khel Ratna award is because I have been playing for 19 years. I want to thank each one of the masseurs, physios and doctors. You superstars have been the main reason why I could be on the pitch. There have been so many times when I thought I couldn’t, but you guys made it possible for me, Chhetri said in a statement issued by All India Football Federation.
He also thanked all the clubs he played for, his teammates, the fans and his family.Meanwhile, the first woman cricketer to be conferred with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, Mithali Raj on hoped her achievements would inspire the country's young girls to pursue their dreams and be the catalysts for change.The 38-year-old stalwart of Indian women's cricket was one of the 12 sportspersons to receive the Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting honour, from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.