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Rohit Sharma to be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award

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Rohit Sharma, vice-captain of limited-overs cricket for Team India and one of the world's most accomplished players, will be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award - India's highest sporting honour.

Along with Rohit, five other names were also approved by the Sports Ministry on Friday, including para-athlete Mariappan Thangavelu, table tennis champion Manika Batra, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and hockey player Rani Rampal.

The player popularly known as 'The Hitman' owing to his penchant for hitting big shots when it counts becomes only the fourth Indian cricketer to receive the honour after Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

Rohit had a particularly impressive showing in 2019, becoming the first batsman in history to score five centuries in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

Along with his four fellow co-awardees, Rohit will receive a medallion, a certificate and a cash prize of 7.5 lakh rupees.

The awards will be presented on August 29, a date also celebrated as National Sports Day in commemoration of Indian hockey legend Dhyan Chand's birthday. However, in light of the ongoing global pandemic, it is likely that the awards ceremony will be conducted virtually.

Also handed out on the day will be the Arjuna Award to 27 recipients in total, including cricketers Ishant Sharma and Deepti Sharma.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Punit Paranjpe

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