Rohit Sharma wins Rajiv Gandhii Khel Ratna award; Deepti Sharma and Ishant Sharma bag Arjuna award

All the three cricketers deserved the honour for their contribution to Indian cricket last year.

Rohit Sharma, Deepti Sharma and Ishant Sharma
Rohit Sharma, Deepti Sharma and Ishant Sharma. (Getty Images)

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India’s limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma has been conferred with India’s highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. He is the only cricketer among the five sportspersons to win the award this year. The other athletes to win it are, Mariyappan T (Para Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling) and Rani (Hockey).

Rohit’s name was already shortlisted by the National Sports Awards Committee and it was only formality that the names were announced on Friday. The Mumbai cricketer has been honoured for his exceptional performance in the blue jersey. His form, especially, in the World Cup last year was worth noting and his five centuries in the tournament had set the stage on fire.

Apart from him, India cricketers Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma have won Arjuna award, which recognises outstanding achievement in sports. Along with them, 25 other sportspersons have also won been recognised for serving the country.

Well deserved players awarded

As far as the awards are concerned in cricket, all the three players, Rohit Sharma, Ishant and Deepti, deserve the honour thanks to their performances on the field last year. Rohit scored 556 runs in five Tests at an average of 92.66 in Tests while also amassed 1490 runs at 57.30 in the 50-over format. Ishant Sharma was the second highest wickt-taker for India in the longest format of the game last year.

He picked 25 wickets in six Test matches at an average of 15.56 including a couple of five-wicket hauls. He has been leading the pace-attack for quite some time now and is going through the best phase of his long career. Deepti Sharma represented India in the final of the Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year at the MCG.

She is currently placed fourth and fifth in the ICC Rankings for all-rounders in Women’s cricket in ODIs and T20Is respectively. Deepti was the second highest-wicket taker for India in the shortest format picking 19 scalps in 14 innings and also added 15 wickets to her tally in 12 ODIs.

“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,” BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had said while nominating the players.