India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma, who remains to be one the finest batsmen in world cricket, will receive the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
The 2019 cricketer of the year Rohit Sharma, who is one of the most established white-ball cricketers in world cricket, is all set to get India’s highest sporting award – The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. The list was approved by the Sports Ministry on Friday. Rohit, along with para-athlete Mariappan Thangavelu, table tennis champion Manika Batra, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and hockey player Rani Rampal were finalized to get the prestigious award.
Rohit is the fourth cricketer, after Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli, to have been selected for the distinction.
The National Sports Awards 2020 was held virtually for the first time in the history of the awards.
President of India, Ram Nath Kovind will present the award to the award winners in virtual mode. In the virtual format, the President of India will be attending through NIC link from the President’s house, via video conferencing, while the recipients will be present at SAI and NIC centers in various locations across the country. The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju and other dignitaries will be present in Vigyan Bhawan for the award ceremony.
There are 74 awards in seven categories. A total of 65 award winners will be attending the function from various locations. Nine award winners will not attend due to several reasons like being quarantined, tested positive, ill-health or not in the country, etc.
The phenomenal ‘Hitman’
Rohit established an extraordinary milestone with his bat in the ICC World Cup last year. He finished as the leading run-scorer of 2019 one day internationals. He has scored a magnificent 1,490 runs in the 50-over format, which included seven hundred runs – the most in the calendar year by any player.
The Arjuna awardee has also scored 39 international centuries in the span of his career. In T20 international cricket, he possesses world records for most career centuries and most career runs among many of his other records. He is also the captain of Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) who has won four times under his leadership. The limited vice-captain of India is also the third-highest run-scorer in IPL after Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina.
Rohit Sharma has not only been known for his athletic feats but also his philanthropic endeavors. Supporting causes for health, animal welfare, and children.
Hitman’s journey to the ‘Khel-Ratna’ award
Rohit was nominated for the honor by the B.C.C.I. in May and was further shortlisted by the Awards’ Committee led by former Indian opener Virender Sehwag and Sardar Singh, the former captain of the men’s national hockey team.
Owing to hitman’s exceptional performance in 2019 one day internationals, the committee decided to endow him with the greatest sporting honor Khel Ratna.
Before shortlisting Rohit as a nominee, we went through a lot of records and considered multiple metrics” -said BCCI president Sourav Ganguly.
“Rohit Sharma has set new benchmarks as a batsman and has attained scores in the shorter formats of the game where people felt the task was not accomplishable. We feel he deserves the prestigious Khel Ratna Award for his commitment, behavior, consistency, and leadership skills.” He added.
B.C.C.I. congratulates its superstar player.
The Cricket Control Board in India ( BCCI) applauded opener and vice-captain Rohit Sharma on becoming the fourth Indian batsman to earn the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Rohit is one of the five athletes who will hold the Khel Ratna honor this year
I am very happy and feel privileged to receive this honour. I promise to keep working hard. Fans are my support system & I am sure they will keep backing us: @ImRo45 on his Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, India’s highest sporting honour. pic.twitter.com/30d6vb6WMz— BCCI (@BCCI) August 27, 2020
In addition to Rohit, the award will also be given to paddler Manika Batra, gold-winning Rio Paralympic high jumper Mariappan Thangavelu, women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal and decorated wrestler Vinesh Phogat.
The five names were recommended on Tuesday by a committee, at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) headquarters in New Delhi.