Rohit Sharma awarded India’s highest sporting honour


Guwahati:  Star India batsman Rohit Sharma  has been awarded India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the BCCI confirmed on Friday (August 21).

Rohit will be the fourth cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli to be conferred with the award. Tendulkar was awarded the Khel Ratna in 1998, Dhoni got it in 2007 while Kohli received it in 2018. The awards will be held virtually on August 29 due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

This will be the first time in the history of National Sports Day awards that five sports persons will be conferred with the prestigious Khel Ratna.

Rohit had an outstanding 2019 where he scored 1490 runs in ODIs at an average of 57.30, and also finished as the highest run-getter in the World Cup with five centuries in the tournament.

He was also promoted as an opener in Test Cricket where he made 556 runs in five matches.

The Selection Committee for National Sports Awards 2020 on Friday confirmed that cricketer Rohit Sharma, Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, Women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal, Table Tennis star Manika Batra and Para Athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu will  be conferred with the prestigious award on August 29 on the occasion of National Sports Day.

Also, 27 athletes, including cricketer Ishant Sharma and women’s team all rounder Deepti Sharma will get the Arjuna Award on August 29.

Senior pacer Ishant, who has now become a vital cog in the Test side, picked up 25 wickets in six Tests last year at an impressive average of 15.56.

Deepti was a part of the side that reached the Women’s T20 World Cup final last year in Australia. She picked up 19 wickets in T20Is and 15 wickets in 50-over cricket last year.

Interestingly, Sakshi Malik and Mirabai Chanu’s names were removed from the final list. Their names were earlier recommended for Arjuna Award.