After Sachin Tendulkar (97-98), MS Dhoni (2007) and Virat Kohli (18), Rohit has become the fourth Indian cricketer to be awarded India’s highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna on Friday. Meanwhile, Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma have been conferred with Arjuna award on the same day.
2019 would go down as one of the best years of Rohit Sharma’s busy ODI career. The right-handed opener has showcased a wide range of centuries during the calendar year, with 1490 runs in ODIs at an average of 57.30. On top of that, the Nagpur-born cricketer also became the highest run-scorer in the 2019 World Cup, with five centuries under his achievements.
It wasn’t just his limited-overs numbers which were boosted last year, as the opener scored 556 runs in just five Tests to bolster his chances in the longest format. After an outstanding year, the Indian opener has been awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, becoming the fourth Indian to bag India’s highest sporting honour, after Sachin, Dhoni and Kohli earlier. The awards will be held virtually, on August 29 due to the widespread pandemic, with the opener currently in the Middle East, preparing for the 2020 edition of the Indian Premier League.
Meanwhile, it was not the only piece of happy news for the BCCI, as the duo of Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma, as nominated by the BCCI have also been conferred with the Arjuna award. The duo have been part and parcel of India’s historic year in both men’s and women’s cricket.
While Ishant has bagged 25 wickets in his last six Test appearances, Deepti has picked up 19 wickets in the shortest format of the game whilst picking 15 in the ODIs for Indian women’s team. The Indian all-rounder was also part of India’s historic final appearance in the Women’s T20 World Cup which concluded just before the pandemic.