Off The Field

Mohammed Shami receives Arjuna Award 

Written by Sumit Seth

India fast bowler Mohammed Shami was bestowed with the Arjuna Award on 9 January 2024 by the President of India – Droupadi Murmu. Shami’s name was recommended by the Board of Control for Cricket in India after his sensational outing in the ODI World Cup 2023.

Shami finished the World Cup 2023 as the best bowler in the tournament, picking up 24 wickets from just 7 matches.

“This award is a dream, life passes and people are not able to win this award. I am happy that I have been nominated for this award,” Shami had said ahead of the award ceremony.

Mohammed Shami was not named in the playing XI for the first four matches in the World Cup 2023. Shami got into the playing XI after Hardik Pandya suffered a terrible ankle injury against Bangladesh on October 19. Shami had an instant impact in the tournament for the Indian side picking up 5 wickets against New Zealand on his return. The pacer went on a record run from there. Shami finished with 24 wickets in the tournament, ahead of star India pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

A total of 26 athletes received the Arjuna Award for their sensational performances in 2023. The list was dominated by the athletes from the Asian Games 2023. In China, India outperformed themselves in the competition winning a record tally of 107 medals.

The monumental accomplishment shattered India’s previous best haul of medals, which stood at 70, achieved during the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games. That achievement was celebrated for the 16 gold medals it included, but the 2023 Hangzhou Games have eclipsed it in both quantity and quality. On the final day of the competition, India soared to new heights by clinching an astonishing total of 12 medals. Among these were 6 gold medals, 4 silver medals, and 2 bronze medals. This took India’s tally over 100 for the first time in competition history.

Arjuna Award is the second highest sporting honour in India after the Khel Ratna Award. President Murmu handed over the awards to 26 athletes, including Shami and long jumper M Sreeshankar, during the award ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Tuesday, January 9.

About the author

Sumit Seth