Rohit Sharma was given the Arjuna Award for the year 2015 and Ajinkya Rahane for 2016. Sharma and Rahane could not earlier receive the Arjuna Awards from the President as they were participating in international tournaments, a Press Information Bureau release said.
Speaking on the occasion Goel said that while there is no doubt that cricket is among the most popular games in India, the current government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to promote indigenous and other sports as well.
He added that the recent successes of athletes at the ongoing Rio Paralympics have made every Indian proud.
The Arjuna Awards, instituted in 1961, are given to sportspersons for consistently outstanding performance for four years preceding the year of award and who have also shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline.
The awardees are given a statuette, a certificate, ceremonial dress and award money of Rs.5 lakh.