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Sportstar Aces Awards 2023 | Over the years, we have grown from teammates to family, says Gavaskar


Sunil Gavaskar and Syed Kirmani  during the Sportstar Aces award held at Taj in Mumbai on February 27, 2023.

Sunil Gavaskar and Syed Kirmani during the Sportstar Aces award held at Taj in Mumbai on February 27, 2023.
| Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

It may be close to 40 years since the Indian team defied the odds to lift the 1983 Cricket World Cup trophy, but memories of that stirring victory will never fade.

Members of the team, led by the irrepressible Kapil Dev, were full of anecdotes as they held centrestage at the Sportstar Aces Awards 2023 at The Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai on Monday.

Tributes were paid to batter Yashpal Sharma who passed away a couple of years ago. Yashpal scored a terrific 89 to help India defeat West Indies in the group-stage match against defending champion West Indies.

Kirti Azad called on the audience to observe a minute’s silence to honour his close friend. Yashpal’s wife Renu Sharma was present on the stage. “Our 1983 World Cup team gets together once a year, and we remember our dear friend Yashpal. His soul lingers with us,” Azad said.

All-rounder Ravi Shastri described Yashpal as a big part of the dressing room. “Yashpal was an entertainer in the dressing room. He cracked jokes, and sometimes, his accent had us rolling with laughter. There were a lot of people in our team who enjoyed needling him, because Yashpal had a short fuse.

“As a batsman, his performances in the 1983 World Cup will never be forgotten. Some of the shots he played in that knock against West Indies were fantastic. He again rose to the occasion in the semifinal against England (Yashpal top scored for India with 61). We love you Yash, and The Hindu family loves you too,” Shastri said.

Tennis great Leander Paes engaged Kapil’s men in a lively conservation. “Gavaskar once cracked a joke to me. He said bouncers never worried him, as they always went over his head,” Paes said.

For Gavaskar, the bond forged through all those years are stronger than ever. “The team has a texting group now, and we are in touch daily. Over the years, we have grown from teammates to family. We are brothers now,” he said.

Kapil was thrilled that fans still remember the feats of his famous team. “It has been 40 years since we won, but we still get so much love and affection from everyone. I don’t know how to express my gratutude,” Kapil said.

The winners in the fifth edition of the Sportstar Awards

Sportsman of the Year (cricket): Hardik Pandya

Sportswoman of the year (cricket): Harmanpreet Kaur

Sportsman of the year (track and field): Avinash Sable

Sportswomen of the year (track and field): Annu Rani

Sportsman of the Year (team sports): P.R. Sreejesh and Sunil Chhetri

Sportswoman of the year (team sports): Savita Punia

Sportsman of the Year (Olympic sports): Rudranksh Patil

Sportswoman of the Year (Olympic sports): Nikhat Zareen

Sportsman of the year (Racquet sports): Lakshya Sen and Sharath Kamal

Sportswoman of the year (Racquet Sports): Dipika Pallikal Karthik

Coach of the year: Bhaskar Bhatt

Sportsman of the year (Para sports): Rahul Jakhar

Sportswoman of the year (Para sports): Manisha Ramadass

Best Young Achiever (girl): Antim Panghal and Rhythm Sangwan

Best Young Achiever (boy): D. Gukesh

Lifetime Achievement Award: Shyam Thapa

Best PSU for the promotion of sports: ONGC

Best University for the promotion of sports: Jain University

Best sState for the promotion of sports: Odisha

Best Grassroots coach: Merzban Patel (Hockey)

Comeback of the year: Vinesh Phogat and Anwar Ali

Sportstar of the year (Male): Neeraj Chopra

Sportstar of the year (femals): Mirabai Chanu

National Team of the year: India’s Thomas Cup team

Club of the year: Gujarat Titans

Moment of the year: India’s Thomas Cup triumph

Spirit of sports: Nihal Sarin

Inspirational Icon: Sania Mirza

Lifetime Achievement Award: Shyam Thapa

Sports for social good: Project Parivartan (IOC)



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