Virat Kohli named CNN-NEWS18 Indian of the Year; says, 'Would love for cricket to be Olympic sport'

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Virat Kohli named CNN-NEWS18 Indian of the Year; says, 'Would love for cricket to be Olympic sport'
  • 21:04 (IST)

    Here for the curtain call, are all the winners of the 11th edition of CNN-News18's Indian of the Year: 

    Acharya Balkrishna, Team Baahubali's Ramya Krishna and Shobu Yarlagadda, Rajkummar Rao, Adar Poonawalla, Afroz Shah, Kidambi Srikanth, Manushi Chhillar, Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami, Ravi Shastri — and Virat Kolhi

  • 19:48 (IST)

    A quick recap of the winners at the 11th edition of Indian of the Year so far: 

    Afroz Shah — Public Service

    Kidambi Srikanth — Sports

    Rajkummar Rao — Entertainment

    Acharya Balkrishna — Business

    Team Baahubali — Outstanding Achievement

    Manushi Chhillar — Special Achievement

    Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami — Special Achievement

    Virat Kohli — Jio Popular Choice for Indian of the Year

    Adar Poonawalla — Outstanding Award in Business and CSR

    Ravi Shastri — Special Achievement

    Virat Kohli (once again) — Indian of the Year

  • 20:59 (IST)

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  • 20:56 (IST)

    Virat Kohli — Indian of the Year — asked about his plans to marry, his philosophy of life:
    Virat also fielded questions about his plans to tie the knot.
    "I've been asked this so many times, I just tell them (people) to tell me the date, time and venue and I'll show up," he responded wryly, before adding (in the face of more queries), "This isn't my home, so I wouldn't like to use this space to talk about my personal life."
    He was also asked about his philosophy of life, to which he said, "When you do what you do, when you express yourself on the field, you have to be true to who you are."
    "I've never tried to be anyone else," Virat said. "Everyone has to go through a process to get to where they want to be in life. But it's very important never to lose your identity — because then you won't be able to inspire anyone else."
    "We have to believe that everyone has a plan — all we can do is work hard," he added.
    "I think it's very important to voice what needs to be voiced when you're in a position to help others. The position in which I've been put... I never thought I'd be India captain one day... so I've been put here for a reason, and that is to make a positive difference. So the mindset I carry forward is that I take Indian cricket to a better place."

  • 20:50 (IST)

    Virat Kohli named Indian Of The Year
    What is the next milestone? Virat was asked as he collected his Indian of the Year trophy.
    "No targets, no expectations," Virat replied. "I'm still a typical Delhi boy so I can't express what i'm feeling standing here. I'm excited and nervous to be standing here and sharing it with such great people. I'll never forget where I came from or how I got here. For me, it's about the joy of feeling the ball hit the bat."
    Coach Ravi Shastri said of Virat: "He can be very unorthodox, but mightily effective!"

  • 20:49 (IST)

    And now it's time for the big award of the night — which goes to:

  • 20:48 (IST)

    Ravi Shastri felicitated at 11th edition of Indian of The Year 
    "There is something to learn from Ravi Shastri not only for cricket but every area of life," said Arun Jaitley presenting a special prize to Ravi Shastri at the 11th edition of Indian of the Year. "I remember when he started off as a spin bowler and he was a lower order batsman — he started at number 10 — and from there, he started opening for India. And since he retired from international cricket, he's been a coach, he's been involved in the administration, in the IPL, he's been part of the organisational team. So he hasn't retired from cricket at all."

  • 20:37 (IST)

    This year's Outstanding Award in Business and CSR goes to Adar Poonawalla aka the Scion of Serum

  • 20:35 (IST)

  • 20:31 (IST)

    Virat was also asked which was the most memorable century he's ever made.
    "There have been so many, but purely in terms of the transition, the second innings hundred at Adelaide where we almost won the Test match..." he replied, before describing a pep talk he'd had with the team the night before the match:
    "Whatever target they give us tomorrow, we're going for it. If there's any hesitation or anyone wants to oppose it, you tell me right now, or we go to our rooms knowing we're going to meet the target. So it hurt a lot not to cross the line, but it gave us a lot of confidence as a team that we could win anywhere."

  • 20:25 (IST)

    Virat Kohli named Jio Popular Choice at the 11th edition of Indian of the Year
    "It's an honour for me to be here among such greats from their respective fields. People who've done the nation so proud in whatever they've achieved, with years of hard work," Virat said, on receiving the award. 
    Finance minister Arun Jaitley said of Virat: "He made a state debut and a national debut at a very young age and what's special about him, is that he's rewriting the entire script. The conventional notions of what is an achievable target, go out of the window when Virat takes the field."

  • 20:22 (IST)

  • 20:21 (IST)

    Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami received Special Achievement awards at Indian of the Year
    "Social media has helped market women's cricket a lot better," said Mithali, skipper of the women's team, on being presented the trophy by Kapil Dev, of how things have changed for women's cricket.
    "We never thought the women's team would do so well because girls in our country are never encouraged to play cricket. We're so proud of the team," Kapil Dev said. 
    Virat Kohli said it was incredibly exciting to see the women play on field during the World Cup. "They're far more senior than us so they (the women) should be talking about us than the other way round," Virat said, on being asked to comment about the women's team's achievements. "We sent them our best wishes when they were headed for the World Cup and were gutted (when they didn't win)."
    "You've inspired a lot of my girls. They look up to you. And we hope that there are many more players who play as consistently as you," Mithali said, thanking Virat for his words. 

  • 20:15 (IST)

  • 20:14 (IST)

    The Special Achievement honoree at the 11th edition of Indian of the Year, Manushi Chhillar was asked about her crown-winning answer at the Miss World 2017 pageant. 
    The host for the evening wondered (referring to Manushi's answer in the final round), if mothers all over the world ever got their due.
    "Motherhood anywhere in the world is a one-way relationship," Manushi said. "For instance, no matter what I do, I know I cannot repay my mother for what she's done for me. So it's always going to be a one-way relationship."
    And would she continue with her MBBS education, or would she be 'waylaid by Bollywood'?
    "I worked very hard for that seat, and I'm not letting go of that so easily. Not even for Bollywood," Manushi replied.
    Virat Kohli, who presented the award to Manushi, exchanged a few words with her as well: 
    "It's my honour to give this award to you," Virat told Manushi. "Hope we can keep making the county proud in the future as well."

  • 20:09 (IST)

    Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar honoured with a Special Achievement award

  • 20:06 (IST)

    Acharya Balkrishna, named Indian of the Year in the Business category, was asked about the Rs 70,000 crores that Patanjali's business was valued at.
    "The 70,000 crores that people talk about is, the company's valuation," Balkrishna pointed out. "It's our brand value, not cash money. And our strength is the trust people have in the Patanjali name."
    Asked about his equation with Baba Ramdev, Balkrishna replied: "We're childhood friends. God connected us with the tradition of Yoga and Ayurveda. What we've accomplished is due to the power of Yoga and Ayurveda."

  • 20:01 (IST)

    The fourth category of the night — Indian of the Year in Business
    The nominees are: 
    1. Acharya Balkrishna
    2. Arundhati Bhattacharya
    3. Sanjiv Bajaj
    4. Siddhartha Lal
    And the winner is: Patanjali's Acharya Balkrishna

  • 19:59 (IST)

    Outstanding Achievement Award presented to Team Baahubali 
    CNN-News18's entertainment editor Rajeev Masand described Baahubali producer Shobu Yarlagadda as the 'never-say-no man'. 
    "Five years, Rs 500 crores, was there ever a moment of doubt about whether or not you could pull it off?" Masand asked Shobu. 
    "No, there was never any doubt. if there was, we'd never have made the film," Shobu replied. 
    And would there be a Baahubali 3? 
    "Not in the near future," Shobu said, laughing. 

  • 19:55 (IST)

    Rajkummar Rao, Indian of the Year in Entertainment, was also asked for his thoughts on the Padmavati controversy. Here's what he said: 

    "We should not have preconceived notions about any film before seeing it. We have a government certified body — the CBFC — which is responsible for passing the film. Once you see a film — I don't mean only Padmavati — you often find there's no distortion of facts (or history) as is alleged."

  • 19:54 (IST)

    Rajkummar Rao said, on being named Indian of the Year, in the Entertainment category:
    "I do feel nervous, but it's that nervous energy that keeps me going. It's been a wonderful journey so far. I saw this dream — of being a film actor — in this very city, Delhi. In fact, my mother believed in this dream even more than me. So it feels like a dream. It's tough in the film industry, but I'm grateful for the way my family, teachers, friends have stood by me. The way Patralekha has stood by me. I hope (this good fortune) continues."
    Asked if he thought Newton would win the Oscar in the Best Foreign language Film Category, Rao said, "We're keeping our fingers crossed. I'm pretty hopeful that we will make it."

  • 19:50 (IST)

    The third category of awards to be announced was Entertainment. 
    And the nominees for the 11th edition of the Indian of the Year in the field of Entertainment were: 
    1. Amit Masurkar and Mayank Tewari
    2. Team Baahubali
    3. Rajkumar Rao
    4. Varun Dhawan
    And the winner is: Rajkummar Rao, whose Newton is India's official selection for the Oscars in the Best Foreign Language Film category 

  • 19:47 (IST)

  • 19:43 (IST)

    Kidambi Srikanth named Indian of the Year in Sports, lauds coach P Gopichand
    Kidambi Srikanth, the current world number 2 in badminton, and the winner of Indian of the Year in the Sports category looked back on his journey from heartbreak at Rio to his current winning streak:
    "I only told myself that I need to do better. I need to improve, play 10 percent better than what I was playing, and this year I managed to do it." 
    "It's more about believing in myself," said Kidambi, about what helped him win. "Every time I get on court, I only believe in giving 100 percent of myself."
    Kidambi was also asked what it was like having Pullela Gopichand as a coach. "I don't think Indian badminton would have been at this level if it hadn't been for him. He's a strict coach, but he's very friendly when we're travelling."

  • 19:39 (IST)

    It's now time for the second category of the night — Indian of the Year in Sports. 
    The nominees are: 
    1. Indian National Women's Cricket Team
    2. Kidambi Srikanth
    3. PV Sindhu
    4. Sunil Chhetri 
    And the winner is: Kidambi Srikanth — world number 2 in badminton. 

  • 19:35 (IST)

    Afroz Shah, the winner of Indian of the Year in the Public Service Category said: 
    "Marine litter is a huge problem all over the world. And as a lawyer the first step is to go file a PIL — it's easy. But then I followed the path of people like Mahatma Gandhi and Vallabhai Patel...using my hands to do something good. Don't complain; do something for your country."
    The Versova Beach clean-up spearheaded by Afroz is one of the biggest initiatives of its kind in the world. 
    "It may not end during my lifetime," Afroz said of his initiative. "But I'm prepared to go on. It's a mindset that you've to tackle."

  • 19:30 (IST)

    And it's time for the winner in the first category of the night — Public Service. 

    The nominees are: 

    1. Afroz Shah — the lawyer who's headed the Versova Beach clean-up in Mumbai
    2. Guneeta Singh Bhalla — in charge of the 1947 Indian Partition Archive
    3. Harman Singh Sidhu — who's championed to make our roads safer
    4. Team responsible for Delhi’s Cracker Ban
    And the winner is: Afroz Shah

  • 19:22 (IST)

    Srikanth Kidambi — nominated for Indian of the Year in the sports category — is spotted in the audience:

  • 19:18 (IST)

    Kapil Dev also lauded Virat Kohli for what the Team India skipper had been able to achieve this year:

  • 19:16 (IST)

    Baahubali actress Ramya Krishnan at the 11th edition of Indian of the Year: 

  • 19:13 (IST)

    Kudos to SS Rajamouli for making a film like Baahubali: Actress Ramya Krishnan

    Team Baahubali is among the nominees in the Entertainment category for the 11th edition of the Indian of the Year. Actress Ramya Krishnan, who was seated among the audience members at the event, was asked to name an Indian who had inspired her this year.
    "SS Rajamouli is 'Indian of the Year' for me, for making such a mammoth film, and for making it in Telugu," the actress replied.
    "Life after Baahubali has been overwhelming; it makes me feel proud and happy to be part of a film like this," she added. 

  • 19:09 (IST)

    It's commendable how Virat Kohli has brought the focus on fitness in Indian cricket: Mithali Raj
    Mithali Raj, the skipper of the Indian National Women's Cricket team (nominated in the sports category at this edition of the Indian Of The Year awards) was asked what it is like to be leading a team full of superstars. 
    "It feels great that all of them are getting their due, and that people are finally recognising them," Mithali responded. 
    She was also asked how she dealt with trolls on social media. 
    "I've come so far playing cricket in an era where it was not really appreciated, and responding to trolls is not really worth my time," she said. 
    As for the one Indian who truly inspired her this year, Mithali said:
    "There are so many people who inspire me every day, not one person. But if I do have to name someone, it's got to be Virat Kohli, for bringing the focus on fitness. Be it the men or women, everyone wants to be the best in international cricket."

  • 19:02 (IST)

    Patanjali is where it is because of the people's love: Acharya Balkrishna

    Acharya Balkrishna, of Patanjali, has been nominated in the 'Business' category of Indian Of The Year. He was asked what he thought of his moniker — 'CEO Baba' — especially when he hadn't even had a bank account to his name until a few years ago. 

    Balkrishna replied, "I do have an account now, but it is my organisation's. Earlier, the account was in the trust's name (Patanjali) and now, it's in the company's." 
    How do you start such a successful company on the back of teaching yoga? Balkrishna was asked. 
    "We weren't thinking of making profits. We were only thinking of promoting Ayurveda and good health," he replied. "Where the Patanjali brand has reached is only because of the love we've received from the people of India."

  • 18:57 (IST)

    Rajkummar Rao on the Indian who inspired him the most this year:
    Rajkummar Rao — among the nominees for the 11th edition of the Indian Of The Year in the Entertainment category — was asked by the evening's hosts who was the one Indian who had inspired him this year. Rao, who played Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose for a web series, responded that his respect for the leader had deepened even further after working in the biopic. 
    Rao has had a great year, with his film Newton being selected as India's official entry to the Oscars.

  • 18:34 (IST)

    Indian Ocean on stage at the 11th edition of Indian Of The Year:

  • 18:24 (IST)

    The evening has kicked off on a high note with a performance by Indian Ocean:

  • 18:22 (IST)

    Here's a look at the nominees for the 11th edition of Indian of the Year:


    1. Acharya Balkrishna
    2. Arundhati Bhattacharya
    3. Sanjiv Bajaj
    4. Siddhartha Lal


    1. Amit Masurkar and Mayank Tewari
    2. Team Baahubali
    3. Rajkumar Rao
    4. Varun Dhawan


    1. Indian National Women's Cricket Team
    2. Kidambi Srikanth
    3. PV Sindhu
    4. Sunil Chhetri


    1. Afroz Shah
    2. Guneeta Singh Bhalla
    3. Harman Singh Sidhu
    4. Team responsible for Delhi’s Cracker Ban

  • 18:19 (IST)

    Watch the 11th Indian of the Year event LIVE here: 

  • 18:15 (IST)

  • 18:14 (IST)

    The CNN-NEWS18 Indian Of The Year awards are where 'India's most exemplary will be awarded by India's most eminent'

From 2006 onwards, the CNN-NEWS18 Indian of the Year awards have feted the efforts of those Indians whose contribution over a particular year has impacted society in a positive manner — and built 'Brand India' in the process.

From Prime Minister Narendra Modi to chess grandmaster Viswanathan Anand, musician AR Rahman to Bollywood actress Deepika Padukone, Olympian Mary Kom and the NGO Stop Acid Attacks — the CNN-NEWS18 Indian of the Year awards have recognised the achievements of individuals and groups across a wide spectrum. The major categories across which the award are given out include: politics, sports, entertainment, business, and public service. There is also a 'Global Indian' honour that is conferred every year on an individual who 'blends Indian sensibilities with contemporary ideas...(setting) new benchmarks and representing a new wave of national pride'.

 Virat Kohli named CNN-NEWS18 Indian of the Year; says, Would love for cricket to be Olympic sport

Other honours include: Special Achievement, Outstanding Achievement and Lifetime Achievement.

The Network10 editorial board drives the nomination process, and the final winners in every category are selected by a jury comprising distinguished personalities from various fields.

The nominees for this edition of the CNN-NEWS18 Indian of the Year awards are —


1. Acharya Balkrishna
2. Arundhati Bhattacharya
3. Sanjiv Bajaj
4. Siddhartha Lal


1. Amit Masurkar and Mayank Tewari
2. Team Baahubali
3. Rajkumar Rao
4. Varun Dhawan


1. Indian National Women's Cricket Team
2. Kidambi Srikanth
3. PV Sindhu
4. Sunil Chhetri


1. Afroz Shah
2. Guneeta Singh Bhalla
3. Harman Singh Sidhu
4. Team responsible for Delhi’s Cracker Ban

While they're all heroes, who among these nominees will be named Indian of the Year? Stay tuned for our LIVE updates from the awards ceremony.

You can also watch it here:

Updated Date: Nov 30, 2017 21:21:46 IST