The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has nominated India’s white-ball cricket vice-captain Rohit Sharma for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Also, Indian batsman Shikhar Dhawan, bowler Ishant Sharma and women all-rounder Deepti Sharma have been nominated for the honorable Arjuna Award.
According to the guidelines of the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, the time period from 1st January 2016 to 31st December 2019 had to be considered for selecting the nominees.
Explaining the thought behind choosing the four cricketers for National Awards, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly revealed that all the four players have done consistently well in their respective fields and deserve this appreciation for their work. Talking about Rohit Sharma, Ganguly quoted that Rohit is worthy of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award due to his commitment, dedication and hard work towards the game.
Sourav Ganguly said, “We went through a lot of data and considered various parameters before shortlisting the nominees. Rohit Sharma has set new benchmarks as a batsman. He has 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,”
He further added, “Ishant Sharma is the most senior member of the Test squad and his contribution has been vital in the 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 in 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,”
BCCI’s secretary Jay Shah also heaped praises on Indian batting legend Rohit Sharma. Shah lauded Rohit for his brilliant batting and for leading the Indian team successfully in the absence of Virat Kohli. He acknowledged the achievements of Rohit as the Indian team captain.
Jay Shah stated, “There is a no bigger honor than representing your country. 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 honor in the country,”
BCCI’s treasurer Arun Dhumal also congratulated Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ishant Sharma, and Deepti Sharma for their nominations.
Arun said, “Receiving a national award is a huge honor. 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. They 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. The cricketers also connected with their fans through social media.”