Poonam Yadav receives Arjuna Award, Ravindra Jadeja misses ceremony
Poonam Yadav (left) receives Arjuna Award (Credit: President of India Twitter)

India president Ramnath Kovind conferred Arjuna Award to cricketer Poonam Yadav while the other recipient Ravindra Jadeja, who is on an overseas assignment, skipped the ceremony held in the national capital on Thursday.

Poonam is India women cricket team’s leading wicket-taker in T20Is and is ranked second in format by the ICC. In 2018, she finished with 35 wickets at 14.91 in 25 matches, the most by any bowler in the format.

In 54 T20Is, she has 74 wickets with a best bowling figures of 4/9. Apart from that she has played one Test and 41 ODIs as well since making her international debut in April 2013.

Poonam, 28, is the 11th women cricketer to have been conferred with Arjuna Award.

Jadeja is currently ranked fourth in the ICC list of allrounders for Test cricket and had to skip the event as he’s part of India’s squad which is touring West Indies.

The 30-year-old has played 42 Tests, 156 ODIs and 42 T20Is, establishing himself as one of the premier allrounders of the game. At the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, his valiant 59-ball 79 almost sealed a final berth for India as they lost to New Zealand by 18 runs.

Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin etc. are some of the other leading cricketers who have been previously bestowed with the award.

The ceremony was held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi.