In some good news during these troubling times, Rohit Sharma became only the fourth Indian cricketer to be honored with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. The Indian vice-captain joined the elite ranks of Sachin Tendulkar, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli, who was previously awarded by President, Ram Nath Kovind, in 2018.
Along with this, Indian veteran Ishant Sharma and young sensation in women’s cricket, Deepti Sharma, were among the 27, including athletics star, Dutee Chand, to be conferred with the esteemed Arjuna Award. This decision was taken on Friday by the National Sports Award Committee of the Sports Ministry.
Congratulation poured in from all over. It was Indian captain, Virat Kohli, leading the pack, taking to twitter, “Congratulations @ImIshant and @ImRo45 for your respective Arjuna and Khel Ratna Awards, and to Deepti Sharma for her Arjuna Award as well… Proud moment to remember for each sportsperson.”
Congratulations @ImIshant and @ImRo45 for your respective Arjuna and Khel Ratna Awards 👏 and to @Deepti_Sharma06 for her Arjuna Award as well. 💪 Big congratulations to all the other winners across different sports. Proud moment to remember for each sportsperson.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) August 22, 2020
Deepti Sharma has made massive strides in her international career ever since her debut against world champions, Australia, at the age of 17. Now 22, Deepti was born into a family of 7 siblings’, and her love story with cricket began since she started going to the grounds of Agra with her elder brother, Sumit. A former cricketer in the Uttar Pradesh state team, Sumit would bring his sister along during his practice sessions at the Eklavya Sports Stadium.
Deepti’s brother would be a proud man today to have played such a vital role in the Arjuna Awardee’s journey. All the years of hard work, determination, and going against socio-economic norms of the time, has undoubtedly paid off right at the starting phase of a potentially magnificent career. That is no overstatement, as Deepti has a stupendous record, especially since the turn of 2019.
ARJUNA AWARD FOR DEEPTI SHARMA 😍🇮🇳
Many Congratulations to you Deepti 🙌👏 pic.twitter.com/denMcsCzmq
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) August 21, 2020
Since then, Sharma has averaged more than a wicket per game, to claim 15 in 12 ODI’s and 30 in just 24 T20’s. To add to this, she has notched up 137 runs in ODIs and 302 in T20I’s, adding an all-round edge to the already sharpened sword. She was also the youngest player to represent India at the 2017 World Cup – where they marched on to the finals, only for the second time in Indian Women’s cricket.
In the World Cup year, Deepti and her teammate, Punam Raut, had walked into history books by recording the first-ever 300+ runs partnership women’s ODI (320 runs). In a career spanning 54 ODI’s and 48 T20I’s, this prestigious award will surely encourage the youngster to dream even bigger now.
In its’ congratulatory tweet for Deepti, BCCI tweeted, “Congratulations to our all-rounder @Deepti_Sharma06 on being conferred upon with the prestigious Arjuna Award for 2020. May you continue soaring new heights.” May she always conquer these new heights!
Congratulations to our all-rounder @Deepti_Sharma06 on being conferred upon with the prestigious Arjuna Award for 2020.
May you continue soaring new heights. pic.twitter.com/GlYv37IMB5
— BCCI (@BCCI) August 21, 2020