Rohit Sharma is known for risk-free aerial strikes. That flamboyant pull is worth every penny you pay for a match ticket. And the ‘hitman’ had a blockbuster 2019. To ensure a solid start to 2020, match preparation for the ODI against Australia the next day kept him out of the awards function.
Like a responsible elder brother, former India star Yuvraj Singh took the podium — at the Trident Hotel in Mumbai — on his behalf.
“I remember when Rohit came into the side [in limited overs], he was a middle-order batsman and still won a lot of games for India; scored 70s and 80s. Since he started opening, those became 100s and 150s and then, 200s and 250s,” Yuvraj ran through the journey of the India opener, who scored five hundreds at the Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
The year also reinstated Rohit as a Test batsman and gave him a chance to open the innings. The 32-year-old justified his promotion by scoring two hundreds — on opening debut — and a double hundred against South Africa at home. “He started to do well in Test cricket, which is great to see. Hopefully, he can smash some records in Tests as he does in one-day cricket,” Yuvraj said.
Rohit reached out to Sportstar in a video message.
“ Sportstar magazine was a big part of my childhood. I remember playing the Sportstar Trophy in my under-19 days to collecting posters of all my heroes. It was great fun.
“I would like to thank Sportstar for choosing me for this prestigious award. It means a lot. I promise to continue to work even harder and bring glory to our country,” he said.
Besides the ongoing World Test Championship, Rohit’s next big assignment is the ICC World T20 in Australia starting in October — the tournament that marked his T20I debut in its maiden edition in 2007. Incidentally, the world remembers that match, against England, for Yuvraj who hit Stuart Broad for six sixes.
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, chess ace Vishwanathan Anand, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M. M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian shuttler Aparna Popat selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.
The awards look to create a medium of knowledge and vision exchange as it brings all stakeholders of Indian sports under one roof.
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