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Arjuna award for Cricket: Know all cricketers who have been honoured

The Arjuna Award is the second-highest sporting honour of India, the highest being the Khel Ratna Award. The award is named after Arjuna, one of the characters of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. Selected by a committee constituted by the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, this award honours players for  “good performance in the field of national sports over a period of four years”. Salim Durani was the first player to win the Arjuna Award for Cricket.

Instituted in 1961, the Arjuna Award comprises a bronze statuette of Arjuna, certificate, ceremonial dress and a cash prize of ₹15 lakh. It is presented to the athlete by the President of India. After the 2018 amendment of the criteria, Arjuna Award is now awarded only sports included in the Olympic Games, Asia Games, Commonwealth Games, Paralympic Games, World Championship and World Cup. This also included cricket, indigenous games and parasports.

Let’s take a look at all the other cricketers who have won Arjuna awards over the decades for their brilliant contribution at the international level.

Arjuna Award for Cricket: Get the full list

Sr noNAME YEAR 
1Shikhar Dhawan 2021
2Deepti Sharma and Ishant Sharma 2020
3Ravindra Jadeja and Poonam Yadav2019
4Smriti Mandhana2018
5Harmanpreet Kaur and Cheteshwar Pujara2017
6Ajinkya Rahane2016
7Rohit Sharma2015
8Ravichandran Ashwin2014
9Virat Kohli2013
10Yuvraj Singh 2012
11Zaheer Khan 2011
12Jhulan Goswami2010
13Gautam Gambhir2009
14Anjum Chopra2006
15Anju Jain2005
16Mithali Raj and Harbhajan Singh 2003
17Virender Sehwag2002
18VVS Laxman2001
19Venkatesh Prasad2000
20Rahul Dravid and Nayan Mongia1998
21Sourav Ganguly and Ajay Jadeja1997
22Javagal Srinath 1996
23Anil Kumble1995
24Sachin Tendulkar 1994
25Manoj Prabhakar and Kiran More1993
26Madan Lal 1989
27Sandhya Agarwal and Mohammad Azharuddin1986
28Shubhangi Kulkarni1985
29Ravi Shastri1984
30Diana Edulji1983
31Mohinder Amarnath1982
32Dilip Vengsarkar1981
33Chetan Chauhan and Syed Kirmani1980
34Kapil Dev1979
35Gundappa Viswanath1977
36Shantha Rangaswamy1976
37Sunil Gavaskar1975
38Bhagwat Chandrasekhar and Eknath Solkar1972
39Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan1971
40Dilip Sardesai1970
41Bishan Singh Bedi1969
42Erapalli Anantharao Srinivas1968
43Ajit Wadekar1967
44Chandu Borde1966
45Vijay Manjrekar1965
46Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi1964
47Salim Durani1961

Salim Durani

In 1961, Salim Durani became the first-ever cricketer to win the sports honour Arjuna Award. The all-rounder created headlines after his outstanding performance against England in 1961- 62 – his eight wickets in Calcutta and 10 in Madras helped him get nominated for the prestigious award. A slow left-arm orthodox bowler and a left-handed batsman who often hit the ball out of the park, Durani played in 29 Tests from 1960 to 1973.

Shantha Rangaswamy

In 1976, Shantha Rangaswamy became the first female cricketer to receive Arjuna Award. This was soon after she led the Indian women’s cricket team to their first-ever Test win in 1976 against the West Indies. It was a six-match Test series being played at home, and India wrote history in the first Test itself. Rangaswamy led from the front, picking up two wickets while also scoring 32 runs with the bat. Not only is Rangaswamy the first woman to lead India to a Test win, she is also the first woman to lead an Indian cricket team and the first woman to receive a lifetime achievement award from the BCCI. Rangaswamy played 16 Tests and 19 ODIs for India from 1976 to 1991, averaging 32.60 and 15.10, respectively.

Kapil Dev

One of the finest all-rounders of his time, former India captain Kapil Dev received the Arjuna Award in 1979. That was the year when he hit his first-ever century in Test cricket. The century came against the West Indies in Delhi in the fifth match of the series. The first captain to lead India to an ODI World Cup, Dev finished his career with an average of 31.05 in Tests and 23.79 in ODIs. With the ball, he picked up over 600 wickets in both the formats combined.

Sachin Tendulkar

Sachin Tendulkar won the Arjuna Award in 1994, the year in which he scored his maiden ODI century. The Master Blaster scored the first of his 49 ODI centuries against Australia in Colombo, which helped India trump Sri Lanka by 31 runs. The greatest cricket icon for Indians, Tendulkar has a list of records to his name – most matches in a Test career (200), most centuries in Tests (51), most runs in Tests (15921), fastest to 15000 Test runs, most fifties in ODIs (145) and fastest to 18000 ODI runs among other.

Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj, captain of Indian women ODI cricket team, was honoured with the Arjuna Award in 2003 for her outstanding achievement in the sport. The greatest batter to have played for Indian women’s cricket team, Raj started her career at the age of 16 and 23 years later in 2022, she continues to score match-winning knocks for India. The right-hander has a batting average of 43.68 in Tests, 51.12 in ODIs and 37.52 in T20s. at present, she plays only the 50-over format.

Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh was given the Arjuna Award in 2012, a year after he produced sensational performances in the 2011 World Cup and helped India win the silverware after 28 years. The all-rounder was the Man of the Series in the World Cup for scoring 362 runs in 8 innings at a strike rate of 86.19. With the ball, he dismissed 15 batsmen. Yuvraj played more than 400 international games and averaged more than 30 in all three formats. As a bowler, he picked up 148 wickets. 

Virat Kohli

Former India captain Virat Kohli won the Arjuna Award in 2013. After making his ODI debut in 2008, T20I debut in 2010 and Test debut in 2011, Kohli took little time to establish himself as a dependable batsman. But in 2012, he gave a glimpse of the star he would become. Against Sri Lanka in the Commonwealth Bank Series, Kohli scored an unbeaten 133 off just 86 deliveries which helped India chase down the target of 320 within 37 overs.

Harmanpreet Kaur

After Rangaswamy, Diana Edulji, Shubhangi Kulkarni, Sandhya Agarwal, Mithali Raj, Anju Jain and Anjum Chopra, Harmanpreet Kaur became the eighth women cricketer to win the Arjuna Award. The all-rounder was awarded in 2017, the same year when she put up a sensational performance in the World Cup semi-final against Australia and ended the tournament with an average of nearly 60.

Shikhar Dhawan

Most recently in 2021, it was Shikhar Dhawan who won the Arjuna Award for his consistent performances for India and in IPL over the last few years. Dhawan is not a regular in the Indian team any more due to the emergence of KL Rahul, but he still remains among the highest run scorers in the IPL.

FAQs

Who won the Arjuna Award for Cricket in 2021?

Shikhar Dhawan won the Arjuna Award for Cricket in 2021.

Who was the first Arjuna award winner in Cricket?

The first Arjuna award winner in cricket was Salim Durani

What is the highest award in cricket in India?

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna is the highest award in cricket in India.

Also readWho is RCB Captain for IPL 2022? – A Brief History

Umaima Saeed
A writer who primarily writes on cricket. As of 2021, she has covered cricket for more than a dozen publications.

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