Feb 29, 2024
Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami, India’s standout performer in the 2023 ODI World Cup, received the prestigious Arjuna Award from President Droupadi Murmu during the national sports awards ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhawan on Tuesday. Shami emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 24 dismissals, featuring three five-wicket hauls, contributing significantly to India’s runner-up finish.

The awards ceremony, usually held on August 29 to commemorate Major Dhyan Chand’s birth anniversary, was postponed due to the Asian Games in China, held between September 23 and October 8, 2023.

The list of Arjuna Award recipients included 26 athletes and para-athletes. Notably, 19-year-old Esha Singh, who secured her place in the Paris Olympics on Monday, missed the ceremony as she was participating in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers in Jakarta.

Among the 25 awardees present at the Durbar Hall, cricketer Mohammed Shami was acknowledged for his outstanding contributions. Shami, who had initially been on the bench for the opening four games of the World Cup, went on to become the highest wicket-taker in the tournament, claiming 24 wickets, including three five-wicket hauls—the most by any bowler in a single ICC 50-over event.

Currently recovering from an ankle injury sustained during the World Cup, Shami became the 58th Indian cricketer, both male and female, to receive the Arjuna Award. His name now stands alongside legendary figures such as Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami, and Virat Kohli. The audience acknowledged Shami’s achievements with a well-deserved ovation.