Indian cricketer Mohammed Shami was conferred with the Arjuna Award on Tuesday, January 09 by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu. Shami had an exceptional run in the recently concluded ODI World Cup 2023, becoming the highest wicket-taker of the tournament. Shami’s rise from the streets of Uttar Pradesh to the marble floors of Rashtrapati Bhavan is a story to inspire.
After Khel Ratna, the Arjuna Award is the second most sought-after sporting award for any athlete. President Murmu bestowed the Arjuna Awards upon 26 remarkable athletes, including the Indian speedster. This event, held on Tuesday, January 9, celebrated sporting excellence in New Delhi. The right-arm pacers’s journey in the ODI World Cup 2023 was nothing short of extraordinary. Initially benched for the first four matches, fate intervened as Hardik Pandya suffered an unfortunate ankle injury.
He seized the opportunity, storming back into the playing XI with a bang. His impactful return against New Zealand in the round-robin stage marked his resurgence with an impressive 5-wicket haul, setting the tone for a historic run. The pacer’s roaring form continued as he embossed his name on the tournament’s leaderboard, culminating in a staggering tally of 24 wickets. This phenomenal feat placed him ahead of the esteemed Jasprit Bumrah, highlighting his pivotal role in India’s campaign.
Shami: The man of big occasions for India
Reflecting on the 33-year-old’s prowess, his impact resonates beyond just the recent World Cup. During the ODI World Cup 2019, his exceptional skills came to the fore when he replaced an injured Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In a historic match against Afghanistan, He etched his name in history by claiming a hat-trick and became only the second Indian to do so in World Cups, concluding with figures of 4/40, a feat only achieved by a select few in the ICC World Cup.
The Arjuna Awards recognized 26 athletes for their stellar performances throughout 2023, prominently featuring talents from the Asian Games. India’s unprecedented success at the 2023 Asian Games in China proved monumental, securing an unprecedented haul of 107 medals. This remarkable achievement eclipsed the nation’s prior record of 70 medals achieved during the Jakarta 2018 Asian Games.