The National Sports Awards selection committee have recommended four sportspersons for India’s highest sporting honour, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2020. Indian cricketer, Rohit Sharma and wrestler Vinesh Phogat are among the four sportspersons. Apart from Rohit and Vinesh, table tennis player Manika Batra and Paralympian M Thangavelu are the other two names. In a first, this year’s National Sports Awards ceremony is likely to be held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rohit Sharma will be the fourth cricketer after legendary Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli to be conferred the award. Tendulkar was awarded the Khel Ratna in 1998, Dhoni got it in 2007 and Kohli received in 2018.
About Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award:
- This award was instituted in 1991-92.
- Chess Grandmaster Viswanathan Anand was the first recipient of this award.
- The winner of the Khel Ratna Award gets a reward of 7.5 lac rupees. This award is given annually to those sportspersons who make the country proud at international events.
- The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award can be given a maximum of three persons in a year. But, this is the only second time that the names of 4 athletes have been recommended for the award. In 2016, shuttler P V Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shooter Jitu Rai, and wrestler Sakshi Malik had received this award.
About National Sports Awards:
The National Sports Awards include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award and the Dhyan Chand Award, which are conferred every year by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29. The National Sports Day is celebrated on August 29, the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand.