New Delhi, August 18: Team India's opener and limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma is among the four athletes to have been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award - country's highest sporting honour.
Along with Rohit, Asian Games gold medalist wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis sensation Manika Batra and Paralympic gold medalist Mariappan Thangavelu have been recommended for the prestigious award.
The decision comes after the National Sports Awards selection committee met on Tuesday for deciding the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna and other national sports awards. This is the first instance since 2016 when four athletes have been recommended for the award. The awards will be announced on August 29, which is the birth anniversary of Hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. That day is also celebrated as National Sports Day.
Rohit Sharma (33) is set to become only the fourth cricketer after Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli to be conferred with Khel Ratna Award. Virat Kohli was the last cricketer to have won the award along with weightlifter Mirabai Chanu back in 2018.
Rohit had a phenomenal 2019 and has been rewarded for his performances across the formats. He created history by slamming 5 centuries during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and even shined as an opener in Test cricket in the series against South Africa where he slammed a couple of centuries and a double century.
Vinesh who became the first woman wrestler to win an Asian Games gold medal in 2018. While ace paddler Manika Batra has been making the upward curve and had a remarkable 2018 wherein she won the Commonwealth Games gold medal and Asian Games bronze in women's singles.
Meanwhile, Mariappan Thangavelu created history at the Rio Paralympic Games when he won the gold medal in High Jump (T42).
Last year, the prestigious award was conferred to Paralympian Deepa Malik and star wrestler Bajrang Punia in 2019.