The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Saturday nominated India opener Rohit Sharma for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2020 while pacer Ishant Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and India women’s cricketer Deepti Sharma have been nominated for the Arjuna Awards.
The board released an official statement in this regard. The players have been nominated as per the guidelines mentioned by the sports ministry, who had sought invitations for the respective awards with the period of consideration beginning January 1, 2016 till December 31, 2019.
Rohit became the first player in the history to score five ODI centuries in a single edition of the World Cup. He was also named the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year for 2019. He holds the record of becoming the first player to score twin centuries in his maiden Test appearance and the first batsman to score four T20I centuries.
Meanwhile, Rohit’s opening partner Shikhar holds the record to score the fastest century in red-ball cricket on debut. He is also the only batsman in the world to have to won consecutive golden bats in the ICC Champions Trophy. Among other records, Dhawan is the quickest Indian batsman to complete 2000 and 3000 runs in the 50-over format and the second-fastest from the country to score 4000 and 5000 runs in the same format.
— BCCI (@BCCI) May 30, 2020
Among the bowlers, Ishant Sharma has been spearheading the Indian bowling attack, mostly in the traditional format of the game and holds the record for most wickets by an Indian pacer outside Asia.
All-rounder, Deepti Sharma has been impressive in both the departments of the game. She currently holds the record for the highest individual score among the Indian women cricketers and is also the only spinner from the country to take six wickets in an ODI.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly speaking on the nominations 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 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.”
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