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).

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Lokesh Rahul bowled by Piyush Chawla on 185

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Zone South Zone vs Central Zone Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma admits he was nervous during his comeback against Sri Lankans in warm-up tie

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

Jesse Ryder included in New Zealand A squad to tour UAE in November

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

KL Rahul could be opening option for India’s tour to Australia

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

Diet Tip #38: Choose whole wheat flour over white flour

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3

How to sterilise your baby’s feeding bottle in 5 easy steps

Happy Ending music review: Sachin-Jigar compose a fun-filled album for Saif Ali Khan-Ileana D’Cruz’s rom com!

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 2 at Abu Dhabi

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Happy New Year actor Abhishek Bachchan to devote two months to nurture ISL team Chennaiyin

Super Nani movie review: Rekha delivers a boring lecture on how to treat your mother

Apple replaces user’s iPad for free after NASA rocket mishap

Xiaomi poaches Donovan Sung from Spotify to lead international product development: Report

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here