Free Press Journal

Never thought I will get Arjuna Award: Harmanpreet


New Delhi : India’s women’s cricket World Cup star performer Harmanpreet Kaur says that she had never thought of winning the prestigious Arjuna Award which she will receive today.

Harmanpreet has been named as one of the 17 sportspersons to receive the Arjuna Award from the President of India.

“For a sportsperson, any kind of recognition from the government is welcome and it boosts your confidence. Getting Arjuna Award is a dream for any sportsperson,” Harmanpreet told PTI on the sidelines of the launch of National Sports Talent Search Portal.

“I thank the government for thinking that I am worthy of this award and I am very happy for this. This will motivate me to work even better in future,” she added.

Harmanpreet, whose memorable 171 not out in the World Cup semifinals against Australia took India to the finals, said she would want a women’s IPL to begin soon in India. “We get the opportunity to play in other leagues like women’s Big Bash League (in Australia), Kia Super League (in England). If there is women’s IPL in India, it will be very big. In think the BCCI is mulling over on this issue. I wish a women’s IPL starts in the near future,” said the Punjab batswoman.

Harmarpreet played in the women’s BBL early this year but was ruled out of the Kia Super League due to a shoulder injury sustained during the World Cup.

She said the profile of women’s cricket in India got a huge boost because of the national team’s impressive performance in the recent World Cup.

“I am feeling good (to have got the adulation of the people). The people of India gave us a big reception and responded in a big way to our performance in the World Cup. We feel proud that we have performed well for the country. We hope to do even better in the times to come,” she said.

She hoped that the number of international matches for the women’s team will be increased.

“I hope the quantum of international matches will increase and the BCCI is having discussion on this and meetings are being held,”

Pujara to miss awards ceremony

New Delhi : India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will not be able to receive the Arjuna award here today due to his county cricket commitment in England.

Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur are the cricketers among 17 athletes who have been chosen for the 2017 Arjuna awards.

The awards ceremony will take place at the Rashtrapati Bhawan today, which happens to be National Sports Day. “I am truly honoured and grateful for being conferred with the Arjuna Award. Unfortunately, I will not be able to receive the award in person due to my commitment to the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club in England,” said Pujara in a statement.

“My dedication to the game has made me what I am, and though it would have been an honour to attend the award ceremony, grabbing any opportunity to play this wonderful game has always been of utmost importance,” added Pujara, who scored 309 runs at 77.25 in the recent three-match Test series against Sri Lanka. Pujara has scored 4107 runs in 51 Tests at 52.65.