Mohammed Shami shared a heartwarming post after being conferred with the Arjuna Award at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
New Delhi: Veteran Indian cricketer Mohammed Shami became one of the 26 athletes to have been conferred with the Arjuna Award by President Draupadi Murmu on Tuesday. Shami, who was India’s finest bowler in the ODI World Cup 2023, received the award in person, and was honoured by the president. After receiving India’s second-highest sporting award, Shami took to social media to express his gratitude at the honour, thanking the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), his teammates, family and others.
“Today I am feeling very proud that I have been honoured with the prestigious Arjuna Award by the President. I want to thank all those people who have helped me a lot to reach here and have always supported me in my ups and downs… thanks to My Coach, BCCI, teammates, my family, staff and big thanks to my fans. Thanks to recognise my hard work…I will always try to give my best to make my country proud… Again thanks to everyone.. Congratulations to other arjun award winners,” Shami posted on X (formerly Twitter).
Shami, who is currently recovering from an ankle injury, was there to receive the honours. He took 24 wickets in seven World Cup games last year.
“My aim is to keep myself fit as far as possible, as the next two tournaments and series are big. I will focus on fitness,” he told PTI at a sports ministry reception last night.
Also receiving a huge round of applause was the newly-crowned chess Grandmaster R. Vaishali, the elder sister of precocious chess talent R. Praggnanandhaa.
Vaishali was honoured for becoming the third woman from the country after Koneru Humpy and Dronavalli Harika to turn GM.
Pistol shooting sensation, 19-year-old Esha Singh, was among the notable absentees as she is competing in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jakarta.
Other sporting bigwigs who were chosen for the Arjuna award this year were wrestler Antim Panghal, a former junior world champion and bronze-winner at the senior event last year, boxer Mohammad Hussamuddin (bronze-winner at last year’s world championship), and para archer Sheetal Devi.
Devi, who won two gold medals in the Hangzhou Asian Games, is the first international para archer without upper limbs due to a rare condition called Phocomelia.
Among the notable Dronacharya awardees this year is chess coach RB Ramesh, who has groomed Praggnanandhaa.
While the Khel Ratna comes with a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh, the Arjuna and Dronacharya awards include a cash prize of Rs 15 lakh.