India football captain Sunil Chhetri was today adjudged the country’s ‘Best Sportsperson of the Year’ by the Calcutta Sports Journalists’ Club.
“Recognition always feels good but to be adjudged best by sport journalists makes this one special. That it comes from Kolkata too makes this memorable because not only have I played for three clubs in the city, now I also have a personal connection with the city,” Chhetri said in a statement.
The 34-year-old, who is currently taking part in Bengaluru FC’s pre-season training in Spain, will receive the award at the annual programme on August 16.
Former Davis Cup coach Akhtar Ali, former India opener Arun Lal and Aroon Ghosh, member of the 1962 Asian Games gold medal winning football team, will be given Lifetime Achievement awards in the programme, which will be held at the Swami Vivekananda Auditorium at the state youth centre (Moulali Yuba Kendra).
Bengal pacer Ishan Porel (Junior Sportsperson of the Year), Mohun Bagan’s Shilton Paul (Footballer of the Year), East Bengal’s Mahmoud Al-Amna (Best Foreign Footballer) are the other awardees.
Ghosh played for India from 1960 to 1971 during which he was part of the Rome Olympics and the Asian Games team that bagged gold.
A former technical director of the All India Football Federation and an India coach, Ghosh also headed the Tata Football Academy.
Ali played for India in the Davis Cup and was later appointed India captain. He was Vijay Amritraj’s travelling coach and was also head coach of Belgium. Among the players he has coached are his son Zeeshan Ali, Leander Paes and Ramesh Krishnan.
Lal opened the batting for India with Sunil Gavaskar and served Bengal cricket for two decades.
Lal was instrumental in helping Bengal win the Ranji Trophy in 1989-90.
Special awards would also be given to Hima Das for winning the 400m gold in the U-20 World Championship and to Dipa Karmakar for finishing on top on her comeback event in Turkey.
The Award Winners:
Best Sportsperson of the Country: Sunil Chhetri
Best Junior Sportsperson of the Country: Ishan Porel
Lifetime Achievement awards: Aroon Ghosh, Arun Lal, Akhtar Ali
State Awards: Best cricketer: Abhimanyu Easwaran
Best footballer (Indian): Shilton Paul; Best footballer (Foreign):
Mahmoud Al-Amna; Best hockey player: Suprajit Rakshit; Best athlete (men): Safiqul Mondol; Best athlete (women): Bhairabi Roy; Best badminton player: Ankit Mondal; Best chess player: Koustav Chatterjee; Best swimmer: Sayani Ghosh; Best TT player: Ayhika Mukharjee; Best tennis player: Yubarani Banerjee; Best shooter: Mehuli Ghosh; Best basketball player: Madhu Kumari; Best volleyball player: Nayanika Biswas.