Shikhar Dhawan, Smriti Mandhana nominated for prestigious Arjuna Award

Shikhar Dhawan, Smriti Mandhana nominated for prestigious Arjuna Award

Previously, cricketers like Virat Kohli, Mithali Raj and Rohit Sharma have been awarded the title.

Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan of Sunrisers Hyderabad. (Photo: IANS)

Every year, talented individuals involved in the world of sport for India are honoured with the Arjuna Award, one of the most prestigious sporting awards in the country. Previously, cricketers like Virat Kohli, Mithali Raj and Rohit Sharma have been awarded the title. This year, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has nominated Shikhar Dhawan and Smriti Mandhana for the award conferred by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.

Both the nominated individuals have excelled in the sport of cricket for the nation in the past year. Further, the two cricketers share the common stature of opening the innings for their respective national sides. Currently, Dhawan is involved in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as an opener for the franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). In 2017, this honour was bestowed on Cheteshwar Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur for their contributions.

BCCI recommends Dhawan, Mandhana for the prestigious award

BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhury told reporters about the decision about referring Dhawan and Mandhana for the Arjuna Award. “We have sent the communication to the Government of India,” confirmed Chaudhury. Both players have made significant contributions to the national side, notably, Mandhana helped her side reach the finals of the ICC Women’s World Cup in England in 2017.

The Indian opener Dhawan has had a consistent run with the willow and his performances have earned him an upgrade from Grade C to Grade A+ level in the newly-designed BCCI pay package system. As of now, the talented southpaw will be paid an annual salary of INR 7 crores, which is a staggering 1300 percent hike from his previous salary of INR 50 lakhs per annum. Since August 2017, the ‘Gabbar’ of Indian Cricket has hit four centuries in 18 ODIs and accrued 975 runs in the format. As for in T20Is, he’s scored 337 runs from 9 T20Is at an average of 42.12.

On the other hand, 21-year-old Smriti Mandhana has had a stellar run in the Women’s World Cup. With her opening knock worth 90 runs against England and a subsequent century against West Indies, she became a household name in the country, astonishing one and all with her batting prowess. Currently, she holds the unique position of being one of the first two Indians, along with Harmanpreet, to play in Australia’s Big Bash League.

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