New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: The National Sports Awards Committee on Tuesday recommended the names of star Indian cricketer Rohit Sharma along with wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis champion Manika Batra and noted 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Mariappan Thangavelu for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the highest honour in sports in the country.  

The recommendation came hours after the National Sports Awards Committee met on Tuesday to decide the nominees for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna and other national sports awards. The recommendations are now subjected to the approval by the Sports Minister of India, Kiren Rijiju -- at present. Once ratified by the sports minister, President Ram Nath Kovind will present the awards to the winners.   

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in Sports and Games is the highest sporting honour of India. The award is named after former PM Rajiv Gandhi. It is awarded annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

 

The recipients are selected by a committee constituted by the Ministry and is honoured for their "spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports over a period of four years" at the international level.

Although a decision is yet to made on whether the function can be held on August 29 at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, this year's awardees will be announced on time," a Sports Ministry source told PTI.

 

The ceremony coincides with the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand. The pandemic had in June forced the sports ministry to extend the deadline for submission of online applications for the awards.

So far, three cricketers have received the prestigious award. Sachin Tendulkar was the first to get it in 1997 before MS Dhoni (2007) and Virat Kohli (2018) received it.

Rohit Sharma has earned the nomination for the Khel Ratna after a stunning 2019 with the bat. After guiding Mumbai Indians to a record fourth IPL title, he starred in 2019 World Cup, finishing the competition as the top-scorer with 648 runs. Rohit Sharma had also scored a record five centuries in the competition. Earlier this year, he was named ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year.

Posted By: Talib Khan