Ashwin, Pujara and Pandya in the running for Indian Sportsman of the Year award
What's the story?
The complete list of contenders in all categories for the inaugural edition of the Indian Sports Honours awards have been released. Sports Journalists’ Federation of India (SJFI), in association with Ernst & Young compiled the initial shortlist of sports-persons across all categories.
Ace cricketers Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara and Hardik Pandya are in the running for the Indian Sportsman of the Year (Team) award. Hockey hero Rupinder Pal Singh, football star Sunil Chhetri and kabbadi player Pardeep Narwal are the other contenders in this particular category.
Anil Kumble, who had stepped down as head coach of Indian men's cricket team in June, is vying for the Coach of the Year award. Harendra Singh (Hockey), Balwan Singh (Kabaddi), Bisweshwar Nandi (Gymnastics) and Vijay Divecha (Golf) are the other contenders in this category.
In what should be a first of its kind, the Indian Sports Honours will present awards to leading sports-persons across different categories. Aimed at acknowledging the achievements of eminent sportsmen and sportswomen, the RP-SG Group along with the Virat Kohli Foundation have instituted the awards.
The jury for the Indian Sports Honours comprise of eminent sporting legends such as Pulella Gopichand, Anjali Bhagwat, PT Usha, Mahesh Bhupathi and Arjun Halappa. Goenka and Gopichand will preside over the jury.
The heart of the matter
Contenders for Indian Sports Honours
Sportsman of the Year (Team Sport) - Ravichandran Ashwin, Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya (all Cricket), Rupinder Pal Singh (Hockey), Sunil Chhetri (Football) and Pardeep Narwal (Kabaddi)
Sportswoman of the Year (Team Sport) - Mithali Raj, Harmanpreet Kaur, Deepti Sharma (all Cricket), Rani Rampal and Deepika Thakur (Both Hockey)
Sportsman of the Year (Individual Sport) - Srikanth Kidambi (Badminton), Pankaj Advani (Billiards/Snooker), Neeraj Chopra (Athletics) and Shiv Chawrasia (Golf)
Sportswoman of the Year (Invidual Sport) - PV Sindhu (Badminton), Sakshi Malik (Wrestling), Sania Mirza (Tennis), Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics) and Lalita Babar (Athletics)
Emerging Sportsman of the Year - Harmanpreet Singh (Hockey), Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Ramkumar Ramanathan (Tennis), Sameer Verma (Badminton) and Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (Chess)
Emerging Sportswoman of the Year - Smriti Mandhana (Cricket), Ritu Phogat (Wrestling) and Aditi Ashok (Golf)
Team of the Year - Indian Men's Cricket Team, India Junior Men's Hockey Team, Indian Women's Cricket Team, Indian Women's Hockey Team and Indian Men's Kabaddi Team
Coach of the Year - Anil Kumble (Cricket), Harendra Singh (Hockey), Balwan Singh (Kabaddi), Bisweshwar Nandi (Gymnastics) and Vijay Divecha (Golf)
The awards for all categories pertaining to the RP-SG Indian Sports Honours will be distributed to the respective sports-persons in a glittering ceremony at Mumbai on November 11.
Both RP-SG Group and Virat Kohli Foundation deserve wholehearted applause for coming up with a great initiative to acknowledge as well as honour the contributions of the various sports-persons.
Hopefully, the Indian Sports Honours becomes an annual feature and continues to celebrate the achievements of distinguished athletes who work tirelessly to render invaluable service to the country.