The Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai (SJAM) conferred lifetime achievement awards on former India women’s cricket captain Diana Edulji, former India hockey captain MM Somaya, Athletics Federation of India (AFI) chief Adille Sumariwalla, shooter Sheila Kanungo and veteran cricket administrator Prof. Ratnakar Shetty at the Garware Club House on Thursday.
On a rainy evening, the legends of Indian sports walked down memory lane, sharing stories and anecdotes from their playing days. While Somaya remembered how coach Balkrishan Singh showed faith in him and motivated the Indian hockey team to clinch gold at the 1980 Olympic Games, Sumariwalla spoke about the challenges athletes faced in those days. Drawing reference to the success of Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, Sumariwalla stressed on the fact that athletes of today have all the facilities available because there is a proper structure in place.
Speaking about the time when she was member of the BCCI CoA, Edulji also hoped that the Indian women’s team wins an ICC title soon. With the Indian women’s team storming into the final of the Asia Cup, Edulji looked confident of Harmanpreet Kaur’s team bringing the title home.
“I wish the team luck now that they have entered the final of the Women’s Asia Cup, and I hope that they can bring the trophy back. Last time, they lost in the final against Bangladesh (in 2018), but with a full-fledged team, I hope we win the title,” Edulji said.
As some of the sporting legends were conferred the lifetime achievement award, chess icon Pravin Thipsay, former shooter Ashok Pandit, BCCI’s acting CEO Hemang Amin, Cricket Club of India’s first woman president Madhumati Lele Shrivastava also attended the event.
Senior journalist and writer Khalid H Ansari, who was the chief guest, was felicitated by the association for his contribution to Indian sports journalism.