Former swashbuckling India cricketer Virender Sehwag and hockey legend Sardar Singh included in a 12-member committee on Friday constituted by the sports ministry to select this year’s winners of National Sports Awards.
Like last year, the ministry went for a single selection committee to choose the awardees among both athletes and coaches and it will be led by retired Supreme Court Justice, Mukundakam Sharma. Moreover, Paralympic silver-medallist Deepa Malik will be there in the panel.
“This year too we are continuing with the idea of one selection committee for all the awards as we feel too many committees will only make things difficult and create controversies,” a Sports Ministry source told PTI.
There are other members of the committee as well which included former table tennis player Monalisa Baruah Mehta, boxer Venkatesan Devarajan, sports commentator Manish Batavia and journalists Alok Sinha and Neeru Bhatia. Notably, the national sports awards have been given every year on August 29, on the birth anniversary of hockey icon Dhyan Chand.
However, the panel will also include the representation from the Sports Ministry which also included Sports Authority of India Director General Sandip Pradhan, Joint Secretary (Sports Development) L S Singh and Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) CEO Rajesh Rajagopalan as well.
“Two additional members who have been Dronacharya Awardees may be invited by the Chairperson while considering the nomination for Dronacharya Award,” a sports ministry release stated.
Meanwhile, this year the awards function likely to be delayed by a month or two due to the global pandemic novel COVID-19 outbreak but the final decision will be taken soon amid this situation.
Meanwhile, the cricketers are gearing up for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League which is scheduled to take place in the UAE from September 19. The governing council of Indian Premier League will meet on Saturday via teleconference and they will have a meeting with their primary stakeholders – franchise owners, broadcasters and central sponsors – on Sunday and Monday to decide the “final plan” for the IPL.