India's prolific limited overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma was on Saturday nominated for the prestigious Khel Ratna award by the BCCI for his stupendous performance in 2019 when he dazzled with five hundreds in the 50-over World Cup.
Rohit's opening partner Shikhar Dhawan and Ishant Sharma, the most-capped Test cricketer in the current set-up, have been nominated for the Arjuna Award.
In the women's section, Deepti Sharma got BCCI nomination for her consistent show across formats in the last three years.
Dhawan was in fact nominated in 2018 alongside Smriti Mandhana but missed out on the award.
As captain Virat Kohli has got the highest sporting honour, Rohit with his magnificent white-ball record over the years was an automatic choice. having scored 9115 runs in 224 ODIs with 29 hundreds and 43 fifties.
He also has 2141 runs in 32 Tests with six hundreds and 10 fifties. In 108 T20 Internationals, the 33-year-old has scored 2773 runs with four hundreds apart from being awarded the ICC Cricketer of the Year.
"We went through a lot of data and considered various parameters before shortlisting the nominees. Rohit Sharma has set new benchmarks as a batsman and achieved scores people thought were not possible in the shorter formats of the game," BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said, referring to his three double hundreds in 50-overs cricket.
"We feel he is worthy of getting the prestigious Khel Ratna award for his commitment, conduct, consistency and his leadership skills," Ganguly added.
BCCI secretary Jay Shah termed Rohit as perfect "teamman" who led well in absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli.
"In the last five years, Rohit Sharma has not only raised the bar with his individual performances but has also led the Indian team with distinction in Virat Kohli's absence," Shah was quoted as saying in a BCCI press release.
For 31-year-old Ishant, it was a long wait to earn the nomination as he is the senior-most member in the current Test set-up with 97 Tests under his belt apart from 80 ODIs and 14 T20Is.
Ishant has 297 Test wickets under his belt and by the end of the year is expected to be second pacer in the country after Kapil Dev to complet 100 Test matches.
"Fast bowlers are prone to injuries and Ishant has had a fair share of them but he has fought hard to be back on the park every time," Ganguly commented on his nomination.
The 34-year-old Dhawan holds the record for the fastest Test century on debut and is the only batsman in the world to have won two consecutive golden bats (for most runs) in the ICC Champions Trophy.
He is also the quickest Indian batsman to reach 2000 and 3000 runs in ODIs and second-fastest Indian to score 4000 and 5000 runs in ODIs.
In 136 ODIs, he has scored 5688 runs with 17 hundreds apart from 2315 runs in 34 Tests (7 hundreds) and 1588 runs in 61 T20 Internationals.
The 24-year-old Deepti has already played 54 ODIs and 48 T20 Internationals for the country. She also holds the record of highest individual score by an Indian woman in ODIs - 188. She has so far scored 1840 international runs and taken 117 wickets across two formats.