The Chairman’s Choice Award at the Sportstar Aces Awards 2020 went to Australian batsman Steve Smith for his remarkable performance in the Ashes and was received on his behalf by Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings.
Smith came back from the cold after what at the time seemed a calamitous setback to his international cricket career. In coming back, he showed character and gumption by dominating the Ashes in England last year.
“We’re not chauvinistic; we recognise great achievements wherever they are made,” said N. Ram, Chairman, The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited. “We honour him for his batting and his qualitative achievements of skill, courage and character on top of his famous — some would say obsessive — work ethic over the past year.
“Smith came back from the cold from a life-changing and what at that time seemed a calamitous setback. In coming back he showed character by dominating the Ashes in England last year.”
Eddings said: “Thank you so much on behalf of Steve. He asked me to pass on his thanks, especially to Sportstar and the Hindu group. To watch Steve bat at the Ashes, it was something surreal.<EP>“He came back from a bad time of his life. It was a pretty great redemption story. He battled the likes of Jofra (Archer) and the other English bowlers. He took batting to another level and it was a wonderful scene. And we are waiting for India to tour Australia next summer. We want to redeem ourselves by beating them. It will be great to watch (Virat) Kohli and Smith going head-to-head. The bowling attacks are great. Back in Australia, people are salivating to witness the series.”
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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