Pujara, Ashwin, Pandya, Narwal in running for Best Sportsman of the Year award
Kolkata, Nov. 1 (IANS): Cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara, Hardik Pandya and Ravichandran Ashwin along with kabbadi player Pardeep Narwal are in the running for the Best Sportsman of the Year award in team sports for the maiden Indian Sports Honours instituted by the RP-SG Group in association with the Virat Kohli Foundation, it was announced here on Wednesday.
Indian football team skipper Sunil Chhetri and national hockey team star defender Rupinder Pal Singh — known as one of the best dragflickers in the world — complete the full list of final nominees for the award. The nominees in reckoning for sportswoman of the year award in team sport comprise Indian hockey stars Deepika Thakur and Rampal and cricketers Deepti Sharma, Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur.
The final list of awardees will be announced and the trophy handed over to them during the inaugural Indian Sports Honours ceremony to be held in Mumbai on November 11. The finalists for the sportswoman of the year award in individual sport are gymnast Dipa Karmakar, athlete Lalita Babar, world number two shuttler P.V. Sindhu, Olympic Olympic bronze medalist wrestler Sakshi Malik and tennis ace Sania Mirza.
For the male category in individual sport, javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, cue sports ace Pankaj Advani, golfer S.S.P. Chawrasia, and in-form shuttler Kidambi Srikanth are the finalists in the race for the best sportsperson of the year award.
In the team event category, the Indian junior hockey team, the senior cricket, hockey and kabaddi teams and women’s cricket and hockey teams vie for the top award. Former Indian cricket team coach Anil Kumble, kabaddi’s Balwan Singh, Bisweshwar Nandi — who guides gymnast Karmakar — Indian national women’s hockey team coach Harendra Singh and golf coach Vijay Divecha are the finalists for the coach of the year award.
The finalists in the other categories are as follows:
Emerging Sportswoman of the year: Aditi Ashok (golf), Ritu Phogat (wrestling), Smriti Mandhana (cricket).
Emerging sportsman of the year: Harmanpreet Singh (hockey), Neeraj Chopra (athletics), Ramkumar Ramanathan (tennis), Sameer Verma (badminton) and Vidit Santosh Gujarathi (chess).
RP-SG Group chairman Sanjiv Goenka and chief coach of the Indian badminton team Pullela Gopichand, himself an all-England champion, will chair a star-studded panel of jury comprising tennis ace and multiple Grand Slam winner Mahesh Bhupathi, legendary athlete P.T. Usha, former world number one sharp shooter Anjali Bhagwat and former India hockey captain Arjun Halappa to decide the ultimate award winners.