BCCI honours the best of Indian cricket
Mumbai, Nov 22: In a glittering ceremony at the Taj Mahal Palace hotel of Mumbai, three generations of Indian cricket came together. Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Virat Kohli were honoured on the same stage for their respective contributions to Indian cricket.
Gavaskar, the first man to reach 10,000 runs in Test cricket, was presented with the Col. CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement award. Sachin Tendulkar was awarded a memento for his 100 international centuries and his recently retired mate VVS Laxman was felicitated for a remarkable 16-year long career in India whites.
Kohli received the Polly Umrigar award, which is given to the best international cricketer of the year.
After receiving a bat with all his 100 centuries inscribed on it, Tendulkar recalled former India coach John Wright’s prophetic words about his incredible achievement.
“I thank John Wright. He told me in 2002-03, when we were flying from Johannesburg to Durban that I should complete 100 international hundreds. I asked him, "What are you drinking? Now I am standing in front of you after scoring century of centuries. Thank you John Wright."
Tendulkar thanked his hero, Gavaskar, for inspiring him to take up the game. "We grew up watching you. Thanks for inspiring me to play cricket. All I wanted to do was to follow your footsteps,” he said, addressing the legend sitting in front of him.
"I was 12 or so and was disappointed as I did not get the 'Best Junior Cricketer' award. I got a letter from Mr Gavaskar saying if you go through that list there is one person who did not get that award and he (Gavaskar) had not done badly in Tests," said Tendulkar.
He also thanked the BCCI for their unflinching support right through his 23-year long career."BCCI has always stood by me. Whether I did well or not or when I was injured, BCCI has always supported me,” he said.
Gavaskar, the recipient of the Col. CK Nayudu award, described it as the “biggest award in Indian cricket” and said he was humbled to be honoured with it.
"I dedicate this award to the Indian cricket fans without whose support, encouragement and the occasional criticism which is a wake-up call, this would not have been possible. Just to see the list of previous recipients of this award and to be in that list is a great honour. It feels humbling to be in that list," he said.
"I have to thank all my friends who had played tennis ball cricket, club cricket, the umpires, the local associations for helping us play so many tournaments. The BCCI president N Srinivasan and his other colleagues, the media for highlighting my scores and bringing it to the attention of the selectors and the public," said Gavaskar.
VVS Laxman was humble and dignified as ever as he accepted his memento. “As a youngster, I wanted to play for India. I realised my dream. Lots of people supported me in fulfilling it, my uncle, the Hyderabad Cricket Association for supporting me in my formative years, my wife Shailaja and my teammates in the Indian team," he said.
Kohli, who has had a dream run with the bat since the last couple of years, said he was honoured to be receiving the Polly Umrigar award in front of his childhood idols.
"I am happy to receive the award in front of so many cricketers whom I have watched and got inspired by. I hope I can continue in the same way this season," said the Delhi batsman after receiving his award.
The BCCI also recognised the contributions of seven past cricketers who are no more with us by presenting their kins with a trophy and Rs. 15 lakhs each. The cricketers on the list were late Vijay Merchant, Vinoo Mankad, Dattu Phadkar, Ghulam Ahmad, Vijay Manjrekar, M L Jaisimha and Dilip Sardesai.
Full list of award winners:
Col. C.K. Nayudu Lifetime achievement award: Sunil Gavaskar - Rs 25 lakh
100 international centuries: Sachin Tendulkar
Polly Umrigar award: Virat Kohli; Rs 5 lakh
Lala Amarnath award (Best all-rounder in the Ranji Trophy): Stuart Binny (KSCA); Rs 2.5 lakh
Best all-rounder Limited overs: Laxmi Ratan Shukla (CAB); Rs 2.5 lakh.
Madhavrao Scindia Trophy (Highest Run getter in ranji Trophy): Robin Bist; Rs. 2.5 lakh
Highest wicket-taker in the Ranji trophy: Ashoke Dinda (CAB); Rs. 2.5 lakh.
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best U-16 cricketer of 2011-12: Mohd Saif (UPCA); Rs. 50,000.
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best under-19 cricketer: Vijay Zol (Maharashtra CA); Rs. 50,000.
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best under-22 cricketer: Satyam Choudhary (MPCA); Rs. 50,000
M.A. Chidambaram trophy, Best woman cricketer (Sr): Anagha Deshpande (Maharashtra CA); Rs. 50,000
Best umpire in domestic cricket: S Ravi; Trophy and cheque for Rs. 50,000.