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SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (CRICKET)

Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma first led the Mumbai Indians to a fourth IPL title. Then he smashed five centuries and a fifty at the ODI World Cup in England to stand out as the tournament’s No. 1 batsman with 648 runs. Sharma also had a rebirth in Test cricket. Promoted up the order in the three-match series against South Africa, he scored 529 runs with two centuries and a double century.

Rohit Sharma

Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami has been at the forefront of India’s pace evolution. This year, he became the second Indian to bag a hat-trick at the ODI World Cup, versus Afghanistan. In Test matches, Shami picked 14 wickets in six second innings at an average of 11.50 and strike rate of 22.6, emerging as a second-innings specialist.

Mohammed Shami

Jasprit Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah was part of the Mumbai Indians side that won its fourth IPL title, picking up 19 wickets in 16 games. In his debut World Cup, Bumrah picked up 18 wickets in nine games at an average of 20.61 and economy rate of 4.41, along with the most maidens (nine). He then continued his rampage in Test cricket with 13 wickets in two matches against the West Indies in the Caribbean, including his best Test figures of 6/27.

Jasprit Bumrah

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR (CRICKET)

Smriti Mandhana

Smriti Mandhana became the third fastest woman to score 2,000 runs in ODI cricket when she hit a match-winning fifty against West Indies recently. Appearing for Western Storm in the Kia Super League in England and Wales, she scored 268 runs in 11 innings. Even though Mandhana had a disappointing outing in the T20I series against South Africa at home, she came back strongly in the tour of the West Indies with back-to-back half-centuries.

Smriti Mandhana

Jemimah Rodrigues

Jemimah Rodrigues, just 19, has become one of the most sought after batswomen in the world. While she had significant contributions in India’s wins against South Africa and the West Indies, she also amassed 123 runs in three games at an average of 61.50 at the Women’s T20 Challenge in Jaipur and was named player of the tournament. She also featured for the Yorkshire Diamonds in the Kia Super League in England and finished second in the run-scorer’s list with 401 runs.

Jemimah Rodrigues

Jhulan Goswami

A decade and a half since bursting onto the scene, Jhulan Goswami, now 36, continues to be one of the pace aces of the Indian team in ODIs. In February, she scalped eight wickets against England in the ICC Championships and then three wickets against South Africa. In the West Indies, she bagged four wickets. She is also ranked among the top-10 ODI bowlers in the ICC rankings.

Jhulan Goswami

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (TRACK AND FIELD)

Tajinderpal Singh Toor

The shot putter was the only Indian male to win an Asian Championships gold in 2019. Though he did not qualify for the final at the World Championships in Doha, the 25-year-old has been consistent this season, going past the 20m mark a number of times and hitting a high at the end of the season, breaking his own national record at the national open in Ranchi with a 20.92m effort.

Tajinderpal Singh Toor

Avinash Sable

The Asian silver medallist in Doha in April, the 3,000m steeplechaser has been in tremendous form this year. Two years ago, he had a personal best of 8:39.81s, but he has been on a national record-breaking spree since then, improving to 8:29.80s last year and then breaking it thrice this year, twice at the world championships, where he made the final and finished 13th with a new national record of 8:21.37s, which qualified the 25-year-old for the Tokyo Olympics.

Avinash Sable

Jinson Johnson

A calf injury in the 1,500m final spoiled his Asian Championships performance this year, but Jinson Johnson came up with stunning time of 3:35.24s in Berlin in September, which bettered his national record by two seconds and qualified him for the Doha world championships.

Jinson Johnson

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR (TRACK AND FIELD)

P. U. Chitra

The quality of middle-distance running may have come down in a big way in Asia, but P. U. Chitra made the most of a smart strategy to win the 1,500m gold medal at the Asian Championships in Doha in April, retaining the title she won in 2017 at Bhubaneswar and giving her an automatic ticket to the Doha world championships. After Gomathi Marimuthu lost her Asian 800m gold for failing a dope test, Chitra became India’s lone Asian champion this year.

P. U. Chitra

Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand became the first Indian sprinter to win a gold medal – in the 100m gold with a timing of 11.32s – at World University Games, where the quality of competition, especially in the sprints, is often much higher than the Asian standard. She ended the season with a national record, bring it down to 11.22s at the national open in Ranchi.

Dutee Chand

Annu Rani

Asian Championships silver medallist Annu Rani has been a very consistent javelin thrower this year with a series of 60m-plus throws. The 27-year-old became India’s first female javelin thrower to qualify for the final of the World Championships and broke her own national record in the qualification round in Doha with 62.43m. She finished eighth in the final.

Annu Rani

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (TEAM SPORTS)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Football)

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu in 2019 showcased why he is regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in Asian football. He kept seven clean-sheets for Bengaluru FC, most crucially in the final of the 2018-19 Indian Super League, where his team prevailed 1-0 to claim its first title. At the World Cup qualifier away to Qatar, Gurpreet made 11 saves against the Asian champion to help India earn a commendable point. He continued his excellent form in the 2019-20 ISL season, having conceded just once in four matches at the start of Bengaluru’s title defence.

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Football)

Mandeep Singh (Hockey)

Since making his senior team debut at the age of 17 in 2011, Mandeep Singh has established himself as an indispensable part of the Indian forward line. The Jalandhar lad’s contribution of 19 goals in 24 matches were vital to the national hockey team as it reached three multi-national tournament finals in 2019 and secured a spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. With his fine dribbling skills, striking ability and blistering pace, Mandeep is an important asset for Graham Reid’s team, which begins its preparations for the Olympics with the FIH Pro League in January.

Mandeep Singh (Hockey)

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat (Kabaddi)

After leading Bengaluru Bulls to a maiden Pro Kabaddi League title last season, and bagging the Most Valuable Player of the Season award, Pawan Kumar Sehrawat continued his exploits in 2019 to finish as the league’s highest point-getter. With a massive 360 points to his name, and a record 39 points in a single game, Sehrawat was named the league’s best raider. His spirited performances on the mat are sure to fetch him a spot in the national team ahead of the 2020 Kabaddi World Cup.

Pawan Kumar Sehrawat (Kabaddi)

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR (TEAM SPORTS)

Ngangom Bala Devi (Football)

Playing for Manipur Police SC, Bala Devi was the highest goal scorer in the Indian Women’s League this year with 26 goals in seven matches. Aged 29, she was also the top scorer at the senior women’s national football championship held in Arunachal Pradesh, netting 21 goals in five matches, including the all-important winner in the final as Manipur beat Railways to win its 20th national title.

Ngangom Bala Devi (Football)

Deep Grace Ekka (Hockey)

Deep Grace Ekka has been one of the core members who have laid the foundation for the Indian women’s hockey team’s growing success in the international arena. A natural leader in the defence and gifted with a tactical understanding of the game, Deep Grace has contributed heavily to India’s Test tour victories in Ireland, Malaysia, South Korea and Japan. Her calmness in the final minutes of the Olympic qualifiers tie in November helped India hold the US at bay to secure back-to-back Olympic appearances for the first time in its history.

Deep Grace Ekka (Hockey)

Lalremsiami
(Hockey)

At the age of 19, Mizoram forward Lalremsiami already has 64 international caps for India, including a World Cup quarterfinals appearance and an Asian Games silver medal. Her telepathic understanding with her fellow forwards and ability to create chances have played a big part in the women’s team’s improved scoring record on foreign soil in the past year. As the Indian women’s team prepares for its third Olympics next year, Lalremsiami will have a bigger role to play at Tokyo alongside her experienced teammates.

Lalremsiami
(Hockey)

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (INDIVIDUAL SPORTS)

Pankaj Advani
(Cue Sports)

Since returning to India from his UK professional snooker stint in 2014, Pankaj Advani has claimed at least one International Billiards and Snooker Federation world title every calendar year, and 2019 followed the same trend, with Advani winning the world billiards (150-up format) and world snooker team trophies. The twin triumphs took the 34-year-old Advani’s world title tally to 23.

Pankaj Advani
(Cue Sports)

Amit Panghal
(Boxing)

After switching from the 49kg category to the 52kg category this year, Amit Panghal secured gold medals at the Asian championships in Bangkok and the India Open in Guwahati before becoming the first Indian man to win a silver medal at the world boxing championships in Ekaterinburg in October, the 24-year-old losing to Olympic champion Shakhobidin Zoiorov of Uzbekistan in the final.

Amit Panghal
(Boxing)

Bajrang Punia (Wrestling)

Bajrang Punia underlined his class by winning an Olympic quota place and his third World Wrestling Championships medal at Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan. He beat Tulga Tumur of Mongolia to finish with a bronze medal, his second world championships bronze, and emerge as the most successful Indian in the event by a mile. The 25-year-old also bagged gold medals at top-level events including the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov tournament, the Asian championships (his second continental title), the Ali Aliev tournament and the Tibilis Grand Prix.

Bajrang Punia (Wrestling)

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR (INDIVIDUAL SPORTS)

V. Jyothi Surekha (Archery)

Compound archer V. Jyothi Surekha cornered a rare double at the world championships in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, by securing bronze medals in the individual and women’s team events. The 23-year-old joined hands with Muskan Kirar and Raj Kaur to help India beat Yesim Bostan, Gizem Elmaagacli and Ipek Tomruk of Turkey in the team event bronze medal match. Later, she defeated Turkish world No. 2 Yesim to claim the individual bronze as well.

V. Jyothi Surekha (Archery)

Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling)

Vinesh Phogat’s double delight after securing an Olympic quota place and her maiden world championships medal, a bronze, in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, was the outcome of her sheer determination. The 25-year-old, who switched from 50kg to 53kg earlier this year, won gold medals at the Grand Prix of Spain, the Yasar Dogu event in Turkey and the Poland Open, plus a bronze at the Asian championships. Phogat’s world championships medal made her the fifth Indian woman to do so, joining her cousins Geeta and Babita to form a unique family club of worlds medallists.

Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling)

Apurvi Chandela (Shooting)

Apurvi Chandela won gold medals in the individual 10m air rifle event at the Munich and Delhi World Cups and the mixed team event (with Deepak Kumar) at Rio de Janeiro. Apurvi, who has won a quota place for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, won a silver medal in the mixed team event with the same partner in Munich. Chandela also combined with Elavenil Valarivan and Anjum Moudgil to land the women’s team silver at the Asian championships in Doha.

Apurvi Chandela (Shooting)

SPORTSMAN OF THE YEAR (RACQUET SPORTS)

G. Sathiyan
(Table Tennis)

G. Sathiyan clinched the bronze medal at the Oman Open Challenge Plus and finished sixth at the Asian Cup in Yokohama, Japan, thereby booking a ticket for the World Cup to be held in Chengdu, China, that starts at the end of November. He reached the round of 32 at the world championships in Budapest. Sathiyan made the strongest of impressions at the Asian championships in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. In the team event, he defeated world No. 5 Harimoto Tomokazu of Japan in the quarterfinals where India eventually finished fifth, and in singles he reached the quarterfinals, becoming the first Indian in 43 years to do so at the continental event.

G. Sathiyan
(Table Tennis)

G. Prajnesh
(Tennis)

The 30-year-old from Chennai rose to a career-high world rank of 75 in 2019. He is the sixth best ranked Indian tennis player in the Open era, behind Vijay Amritraj (18), Ramesh Krishnan (23), Somdev Devvarman (62), Leander Paes (73) and Anand Amritraj (74). He played all four Grand Slams this year. While he qualified for the Australian Open, Prajnesh had direct entry at the French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open. Prajnesh qualified and beat 69th ranked Benoit Paire and 18th ranked Nikoloz Basilashvili at the ATP Masters event in Indian Wells before being beaten by Ivo Karlovic of Croatia, and he qualified for the next ATP Masters event at Miami, too.

G. Prajnesh
(Tennis)

Saurav Ghosal (Squash)

Saurav Ghosal reached his career-best ranking of 10 in April, becoming the first Indian male singles squash player to do so. He entered the quarterfinals of the 2018-19 world championships and as well as the Grasshoppers Cup (PSA World Tour Gold event) that catapulted his ranking. His best this year was reaching the semifinals of the JP Morgan China Squash Open (PSA World Tour Gold Event) in September.

Saurav Ghosal (Squash)

SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR (RACQUET SPORTS)

P. V. Sindhu (Badminton)

Since December 2018, Sindhu has won two of the biggest titles in the game: the cash-rich $1.5 million BWF World Tour Finals and the 2019 World Championships. After finishing second best at the 2016 Olympics, 2018 World Championships, 2018 Asian Games, 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2019 National championship, the quality of her play at the 2019 World Championships made the badminton world take note of her previously unseen capabilities. At the BWF Finals, Sindhu scored important victories former World No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi and two former world champions, Ratchanok Intanon and Nozomi Okuhara, in straight games.

P. V. Sindhu (Badminton)

Archana Kamath (Table Tennis)

Archana Kamath won her maiden national singles title in January. This major triumph in the senior ranks came after she upstaged favourite Manika Batra in the semifinal and Krittwika Sinha Roy in the final. At the Commonwealth Championships in Cuttack, Kamath added the mixed doubles gold medal in the company of G. Sathiyan. Earlier, she was part of the gold-winning Indian team. At 19, Archana has the game to rattle the bigger names.

Archana Kamath (Table Tennis)

Joshna Chinappa (Squash)

Joshna Chinappa retained the Asian squash championships singles crown in May this year. She also reached the semifinals of the Oracle Netsuite Open, a PSA World Tour Gold event, in San Francisco and the Macau Open (PSA World Tour Bronze event). She also entered the quarterfinals of the CIB Black Ball Open in Cairo.

Joshna Chinappa (Squash)

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