India’s pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah will receive the prestigious Polly Umrigar Award for his exploits in international cricket in the 2018-19 season, the BCCI announced on Sunday (January 12).
This comes as a perfect comeback gift for Bumrah as the world’s leading pacer will be honoured during the BCCI Annual Awards in Mumbai.
The 26-year-old who recently named the world’s No.1 ODI bowler also became India’s highest wicket-taker in the T20 Internationals during the third and final T20 International against Sri Lanka in Pune on Friday (January 11).
Bumrah, who made his Test debut during India’s tour of South Africa in January 2018 and hasn’t looked back since.
He picked up a five-wicket haul in South Africa, England, Australia and the West Indies becoming the first and only Asian bowler to achieve the feat.
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He played a stellar role in the historic 2-1 Test series win in Australia, India’s first Down Under and which helped them retain the Border Gavaskar Trophy.
While Bumrah nets the biggest prize in the men’s category, Poonam Yadav will claim the top prize in the women’s section and will be awarded the best international cricketer.
The award will be another feather in the leg-spinner’s cap who recently received the Arjuna Award.
Former India captains Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Anjum Chopra will be presented with the Col CK Nayudu Lifetime Achievement Award and the BCCI Lifetime Achievement Award for women respectively.
A member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Srikkanth took on the fearsome West Indies fast bowlers and scored an attacking 38, the top individual score in the low-scoring final at the Lord’s.
He also captained India and post-retirement served as the chief selector and it was during his tenure that the 2011 World Cup squad was picked.
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Anjum is one of the finest batswomen and the first Indian to play 100 ODIs. In a career spanning 17 years, Anjum represented India in four 50-over World Cups and two T20 World Cup (played in one).
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said, “The BCCI Awards is our way of recognising the finest on-field performances right from the age group to senior level and also honour our legends.
“It will be a special evening in Mumbai as we will also have the 7th MAK Pataudi lecture and I am delighted to inform that it will be Virender Sehwag, who will address the gathering.”
Board secretary Jay Shah said, “The BCCI Awards are an important feature in India’s cricketing calendar, a melange of aspiration and inspiration.
“We wanted to make Naman bigger and better and have introduced four new categories highest run-getter and wicket-takers in WODIs and best international debut men and women from this year. A total of 25 awards will be presented.”
Arun Singh Dhumal, the board’s treasurer, said, “Right from domestic to international level, Indian Cricket has had a memorable 2018-19 season.”
“We have started the year on the right note with Team India completing a convincing series win against Sri Lanka and they will be in attendance. The U-19 team is in South Africa for the World Cup and all eyes will be on the stars of tomorrow. It will be a special evening and I congratulate the award winners,” he added.
(With inputs from agencies)