KL Rahul named sportsperson of the year by Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore

KL Rahul named sportsperson of the year by Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore

KL Rahul
KL Rahul, Javagal Srinath along with other award winners. (Photo Source: SportsCafe.in)

Indian opener across formats KL Rahul has been awarded the male sportsperson of the year award at the annual Sports Writers’ Association of Bangalore awards. At the event where former Indian pacer and ICC Match Referee Javagal Srinath was the chief guest, former leg-spinner BS Chandrasekhar was also given the lifetime achievement honour. Former India opener and a well-known sports psychologist now, Sujith Somasunder was also present at the event as the guest of honour.

2016 has proved to be a remarkable year for KL Rahul as he made his ODI as well as T20I debut and with the first series grabbed the spot. He absolutely enjoyed opening the batting for the Indian team and has scored hundreds in all the three formats of the game, in 2016. With that, he became the third Indian batsman after Suresh Raina and Rohit Sharma to score hundreds in all the three formats.

Earlier he garnered a lot of attention with his performance for the Bangalore-based franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. In the tournament where the team ended as runner-up, he scored 397 runs in 14 matches with an average of 44.11. The more impressive number was his strike rate, he was termed a longer format player until he minted runs with a SR of 144.49 in the IPL and turned things around.

Rahul was pleased on being honored with the award and said, “Thank you for finding me worthy enough of this award. It gives me immense satisfaction knowing that my hard work and performances over the year has been appreciated by you. You’re the guys who watched me as a skinny Mangalore boy who came into play in Bangalore around 11. You have been a real part of my journey, we’ve become real friends over the years, on and off the field. The friendships over the years have developed, and I hope that continues in the years to come,” Wisden India quoted.

A couple of years ago Rahul was present to receive an award but that was for his Karnataka teammate Robin Uthappa and now he was back again but to hold one with his name inscribed on it. Talking about the incident he said, “I remember a couple of years ago, I had to come up here and pick up this award for Robin Uthappa. I said the next time I come here would be when you give me an award … so if that’s why you’ve given me the award, I’m okay with it.”

Srinath also praised Rahul and went on to compare him with another Rahul from Karnataka, the legend Rahul Dravid. The 47-year-old said, “Rahul Dravid Test cricket, Rahul Dravid ODIs, Rahul Dravid T20 … all put together is KL Rahul,” he said, half tongue-in-cheek, to loud applause. “Many, many congratulations, and a long, long way to go as well.”

The football team from the city Bengaluru FC was awarded the team of the year for reaching the finals of the AFC Cup and for winning two I-League titles. Olympic golfer Aditi Ashok who also hails from the state was declared the best female sportsman of the year.

List of winners:

Male Sportsperson of the Year: KL Rahul

Female Sportsperson of the Year: Aditi Ashok

Lifetime Achievement Award: BS Chandrasekhar

Team of the Year: Bengaluru FC

Coach of the Year: Ashley Westwood

Junior Sportsperson of the Year (Female): Archana Kamath

Junior Sportsperson of the Year (Male): Niranjan Mukundan

Behind the Scenes’ Award: Kishore Khurrana, Gopalakrishnan

Best Association: United Karnataka Chess Association