Home > News >

Ravichandran Ashwin gets Arjuna Award amidst controversy

Ravichandran Ashwin gets Arjuna Award amidst controversy
Ravichandran Ashwin could not make it to the award ceremony as he is currently on national duty in England in an ongoing ODI series © Getty Images

New Delhi: Aug 29, 2014

Mired in selection controversies and devoid of a Khel Ratna for the first time in 20 years, the National Sports Awards were on Friday presented by President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in a ceremony which was severely short on star power.

Like the past editions, selection controversies cast a shadow on the ceremony and matters came to a head when boxer Manoj Kumar dragged the Sports Ministry to court after being overlooked for the Arjuna award despite qualifying in the new points system.

Add to this, the awards selection committee did not find any athlete worthy of the country’s highest sporting honour — the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna — this year.

None of the seven candidates, whose names were forwarded to the committee, got the 12-member panel’s nod, making it the first time since 1994 when no sportsperson was named for the top award.

Controversies aside, the ceremony followed the long-standing traditions as awardees walked upto to receive their respective honours from the President amid resounding applause from the dignitaries present, including Vice President Hamid Ansari and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

A notable absentee from the ceremony was cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin. The off-spinner could not make it as he is currently on national duty in England in an ongoing ODI series.

The others who were bestowed the honour were Akhilesh Varma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H N Girisha (paralympics), V Diju (badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Mamta Pujari (kabaddi), Saji Thomas (rowing), Heena Sidhu (shooting), Anaka Alankamony (squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (wrestling).

Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand awardees received statuettes, citations and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.

Recipients of Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar were given trophies.

The awards selection panel, headed by cricket legend Kapil Dev, included the likes of Anju Bobby George and Kunjarani Devi, two mediapersons and three government representatives, including Sports Authority of India Director General Jiji Thomson.

Picking 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Jai Bhagwan and ignoring the gold-medallist from the same event, Manoj Kumar, had led to a massive controversy ahead of the award. 20-year-old squash player Alankamony’s inclusion in the list had also raised eyebrows.

Kumar, with 32 points, had maximum points amongst the boxers who applied for the honour and two more than Bhagwan.

Awards list:

Arjuna award: Akhilesh Varma (Archery), Tintu Luka (Athletics), HN Girisha (Paralympics), V Diju (Badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (Basketball), Jai Bhagwan (Boxing), Ravichandran Ashwin (Cricket), Anirban Lahiri (Golf), Mamta Pujari (Kabaddi), Saji Thomas (Rowing), Heena Sidhu (Shooting), Anaka Alankamany (Squash), Tom Joseph (Volleyball), Renubala Chanu (Weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (Wrestling).

Dronacharya award: Mahabir Prasad (Wrestling), N Lingappa (Athletics – Lifetime), G Manoharan (Boxing – Lifetime), Gurcharan Singh Gogi (Judo – Lifetime), Jose Jacob (Rowing – Lifetime).

Dhyan Chand award: Gurmail Singh (Hockey), K P Thakkar (Swimming – Diving), Zeeshan Ali (Tennis).

Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar: 1. Employment of sports persons and sports welfare measures Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), 2. Community Sports – identification and nurturing of budding /young talent Jindal Steel Works (JSW), 3. Establishment and Management of sports academies of excellence Guru Hanuman Akhara, Delhi, 4. Other forms of sports activities not covered in the four categories mentioned in the schemes Child Link Foundation of India (Magic Bus).

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Chittagong

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

More

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wkts

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Melbourne

Australia won by 3 wkts

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Zimbabwe make stuttering start

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Odisha vs Punjab Semi-Final 2: Punjab win by 7 wickets, reach final

Live Cricket Score Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15 Bengal vs Karnataka Semi-Final 1: Karnataka beat Bengal in thriller

India vs Australia 2014: How crucial are India’s practice games ahead of the first Test?

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh India New Zealand New Zealand tour of UAE 2014 New Zealand vs Pakistan New Zealand vs Pakistan 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs New Zealand Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe

India tour of Australia 2014-15: Virat Kohli says India well-equipped to deal with Mitchell Johnson

VVS Laxman backs Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara to come good in Australia

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014: Zimbabwe 61 for 4 after 16 overs

Australia move past India to take No 1 spot in ICC ODI Rankings

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

ICC World Cup 2015: Australia in risk of overkill

Is Dhawal Kulkarni a contender for India’s ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

World Cup 1992: Arjuna Ranatunga masterminds first ever 300-plus ODI chase

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Rithvik Dhanjani’s gives girlfriend Asha Negi tips and tricks for her stint in Khatron Ke Khiladi!

Aditya Chopra to cast Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif in his next!

How many calories do bananas have?

5 smart tricks to make your grocery shopping healthy

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here