Hockey India released their nominees for the Player of the Year award for the 2nd annual Hockey India awards with Sreejesh being one of the favorites to win the coveted prize. Other nominees for the top prize in the men’s game include Birendra Lakra, Akashdeep Singh and Manpreet Singh.
The Hockey India annual awards recognize the excellence in performances in field hockey and the contribution to the sport in general in the last calendar year.
Birendra Lakra’s brilliant defensive displays led India to a third place finish in the FIH Hockey World League final and his nomination comes as no surprise. As does Sreejesh’s who has stood tall between the sticks and been one of the best goalkeepers in the world for some time now. Akashdeep Singh was also shortlisted for the FIH rising star of the year and his meteoric rise rightly warrants him a place in the “Player of the Year” nomination. Manpreet Singh, who captained India for the junior hockey World Cup three years back, is one of the most exciting players in the country and is often touted as “the next big thing”. With a solid 2015 under his belt, Manpreet rounds up the nominations.
With the women’s hockey team qualifying for the Olympics after a 36-year long absence, each of Rani Rampal, Deepika, Ritu Rani and Savita had crucial roles to play and it’s difficult to take a guess on who will walk away with the award.
The winners shall receive cash prizes ranging from 5lakhs to 30lakh rupees, said the press release from Hockey India.
Full list of nominations-
Player of the Year (Men): Birendra Lakra, Akashdeep Singh, Manpreet Singh, PR Sreejesh
Player of the Year (Women): Rani Rampal, Deepika, Ritu Rani, Savita.
Asunta Lakra Upcoming Player of the Year (Women, under-21): Sonika, Deep Grace Ekka, Preeti Dubey, Lilima Minz.
Baljit Singh Award for Goalkeeper of the Year: Savita, Harjot Singh, PR Sreejesh, Rajani Etimarpu.
Pargat Singh Award for Defender of the Year: Birender Lakra, Deepika, Kothajit Singh, Sushila Chanu.
Ajit Pal Singh Award for Midfielder of the Year: Manpreet Singh, Harjeet Singh, Sardar Singh, Ritu Rani.
Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year: Akashdeep Singh, Rani, SV Sunil, Anuradha Thokchom