Indian ODI vice captain and opening batsman Rohit Sharma has been nominated for the illustrious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for the year 2020 by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
The BCCI have also decided to nominate Deepti Sharma, Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan for Arjuna Awards.
The Government of India’s Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports had sought invitations for the respective awards with the period of consideration beginning 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2019.
Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI, stated, “We went through a lot of data and considered various parameters before shortlisting the nominees. Rohit Sharma has set new benchmarks as a batsman and achieved scores people thought were not possible in the shorter formats of the game. We feel he is worthy of getting the prestigious Khel Ratna award for his commitment, conduct, consistency and his leadership skills. Ishant Sharma is the most senior member of the Test squad and his contribution has been vital in Indian team’s long run as the No. 1 Test side. Fast bowlers are prone to injuries and Ishant has had a fair share of them but he has fought hard to be back on the park every time. Shikhar has been consistently scoring at the top and his performances in the ICC events have been significant. Deepti is a genuine all-rounder and her contribution to the team has been vital.”
Jay Shah, honourary secretary of the BCCI, had to say the following.
“There is no bigger honour than representing your country and being nominated for national awards is a recognition of your hard work. In the last five years, Rohit Sharma has not only raised the bar with his individual performances but has also led the Indian team with distinction in Virat Kohli’s absence. Under his captaincy, India famously won the Asia Cup in UAE, the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka and registered many bilateral series wins at home. Rohit has been a perfect team-man and a mentor to youngsters. He deserves the highest sporting honour in the country. Ishant Sharma has been a warhorse while Shikhar Dhawan lifts the team’s morale with his fearless approach. Deepti Sharma has contributed a lot in Indian team’s consistent showing in the big-ticket events.”
Arun Dhumal, the BCCI treasurer, said in his statement, “Receiving a national award is a huge honour. It is a culmination of your on-field performances and your character off the field. Indian cricketers have shown the competitive spirit on the ground and have come forward to help the country in this battle against the coronavirus. They have taken part in awareness campaigns, donated money and food grains to relief funds and charities and also connected with their fans through social media. The last Indian cricketer to win the Khel Ratna was Virat Kohli and I hope Rohit Sharma too, gets this top award as he thoroughly deserves it. Ishant Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have justified their talent and put in performances that their fans can be proud of. Deepti Sharma has contributed both with the bat and ball and deserves her nomination. I extend my best wishes to all the nominated cricketers.”