Cricket empty-handed in NSJF Sports Award
Nepal paragliding team snapped up three out of 10 categories in the Nepal Sports Journalist Forum (NSJF) Pulsar Sports Award on Tuesday as cricket failed to win any in different categories.
In the 16th edition of the ceremony organized at the Nepal Academy Hall in Kamaladi, the paragliding team comprising Bimal Adhikari, Bijay Gautam, Sushil Gurung, Yukesh Gurung, and Bishal Thapa won the Team of the Year Award.
Also, Yukesh won the Men’s Player of the Year ahead of Paras Khadka and Sompal Kami of cricket, while Yogesh Bhattarai received the Coach of the Year for guiding the team to the first silver in 20 years in Nepal’s Asiad history ahead of former cricket head coach Jagat Tamatta.
Yukesh defeated golfer Sukra Raj Rai and Judoka Indra Bahadur Shrestha as well to get the award.
National team forward Sabitra Bhandari grabbed the Women’s Player of the Year (PoTY) award as she helped the team to finish second in the SAF Women’s Football Championship and enter the second round of the Olympic Qualifiers.
To win the award, she beat APF’s volleyball player Saraswati Chaudhary, national team cricketer Sita Rana Magar, judoka Manita Shrestha Pradhan and taekwondoka Nima Gurung.
Also, APF’s volleyball player Reshma Bhandari got the highest vote to win the People’s Choice Award. She got 32% votes finishing ahead of footballer Bhandari with 29% and bodybuilder Maheshwar Maharajan who got 15%. Badminton’s Prince Dahal and national team youth cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane finish fourth and fifth with 13% and 8% votes respectively.
This was cricket third loss of the night with most severe one as Lamichhane, the globetrotter, end up last in people’s choice.
Athletics’ Ajit Kumar Yadav, who won a gold medal in the Asian Athletics Championship in Hong Kong, clinched the Best Youth Player of the Year. He left behind national team cricketer Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, national women’s team footballer Manjali Kumari Yonjan and karateka Bijay Shrestha.
However, it was not all gloomy for cricket. In the award ceremony, blind national women’s cricket team member Mankesi Chaudhary was honored with the Para Athlete Award for her notable contribution to the team who defeated Pakistan to win the International Women’s Blind Cricket Series.
Likewise, Guinness world record holder and athlete coach Hari Bahadur Rokaya was felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award, while national team footballer Rohit Chand was honored with the Special Award.
International Sports Press Association (AIPS) General Secretary and senior Pakistani journalist Amjaz Aziz Malik was also felicitated with the Asian Sports Journalist Award, which was introduced for the first time.
The winners of Youth, Lifetime Achievement, Team of the Year, and Special Award categories were rewarded with Rs 50,000 and other gift hampers.
Likewise, the winners of the Men’s and Women’s Players of the Year along with the Coach of the Year and People’s Choice Award received a Pulsar bike each.
Image Credit: NSJF