India cricketer Mohammed Shami and chess Grandmaster R. Vaishali won the ‘Sportsman of the year (Team Sports)’ and ‘Sportswoman of the year (Individual)’ awards respectively at the Sportstar ACES Awards 2024 held at the Taj Mahal Palace here on Thursday.
Shami bagged 24 wickets to emerge as the top wicket-taker of the ODI World Cup 2023. The pacer also recorded an incredible seven for 57 against New Zealand in the semifinal.
Vaishali was a member of the Indian women’s chess team which won the silver medal at the Asian Games. At the Qatar Masters 2023, she earned her final Grandmaster norm.
“I am from a place which has no facilities. My journey has hinged on luck, effort, and support from my family and friends. I am grateful for everything — even a person who has contributed one per cent to my success,” Shami said.
“It is amazing to be among so many achievers in this hall. It is truly inspiring to be here,” Vaishali said.
Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar, the ACES Awards 2024 jury chairman, paid tribute to all the winners.
“With the kind of performances that we keep seeing in Indian sports, it gets more and more difficult to pick the award winners every year. Looking at videos and reading about the nominees give the jurors so much joy. It is like you are floating in air. I am sure that these incredible feats will serve as an inspiration for young sportspersons,” Gavaskar said.
The batting maestro had a word of advice for young sportspersons. “I am very grateful to Indian cricket. I am here today only because of Indian cricket. So to all sportspersons I say — never forget your institution and your roots,” Gavaskar added.
N. Ram, Director (The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited), Nirmala Lakshman, Chairperson (The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited), and N. Murali, Director (The Hindu Group Publishing Private Limited) presented awards to winners.
The Sportstar Aces Awards is presented by Amul, powered by IDFC First Bank in association with Indian Oil. The associate partners are LIC India, State Bank of India, Greyon Cosmetic, India Cements, United India Insurance, NTPC, Ramaiah University.
The realty partner is Casagrand, with online grocery partner Big Basket, colour partner Nippon Paint and education partner Christ University.
The co-sponsors are Pratiyogita Darpan, SSVM and PSG. Additionally, Signpost is the Digital OOH Partner, NDTV is the Broadcast Partner, Dailyhunt is the Online Streaming Partner and Wordswork is the PR Partner.
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