India goalkeeper PR Sreejesh and Deepika won the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year award for men and women, respectively, at the Hockey India second annual awards, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.
"It's a great honour for me to be chosen as the Hockey India Dhruv Batra Player of the Year award. I dedicate this award to all my coaches, family members and friends who have encouraged me and pushed me to give my best to hockey. I hope this award will encourage youngsters to play the national game in right earnest," said Sreejesh.
Both Sreejesh and Deepika bagged Rs. 25 lakh and a trophy each for their achievement.
The late capt. Shankar Laxman won the coveted Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement award with a cash prize of Rs 30 lakh and a trophy.
The milestone awards were presented to Dharamvir Singh, Kothajit Singh, Birendra Lakra and Sushila Chanu for making 100th appearance for India. All of them were presented with a cheque of Rs. 50,000 and a trophy each.
Gurbaj Singh and V R Raghunath were awarded for turning out in India colours for the 200th time and were presented with a cheque of Rs. one lakh each along with a trophy.
The winners of the individual achievement award for goal on debut were Devindar Sunil Walmiki, Harjeet Singh, Nilam Sanjeep Xess, Mohammad Umar, Gaganpreet Singh and Preeti Dubey. Besides, Raghuprasad RV was felicitated for making his 100th appearance as an umpire in an international match at the World Hockey League Semi-final, held in Antwerp, Belgium.
Meanwhile, to celebrate the historic occasion of the Indian women's team qualifying for the Olympics after a gap of 36 years since the Moscow Games, the entire team and the support staff were felicitated.
Senior Indian men's team collected their award from winning the bronze medal in the FIH Men's Hero World Hockey League Final, held in Raipur last December. Sreejesh, who played a crucial role under the bar, was also awarded for receiving the Fans' Choice Award during the same tournament.
The junior men's team and the support staff that won gold in the 8th Junior Asia Cup were awarded a cash prize of Rs. one lakh each. The high performing players in that tournament like Vikas Dahiya, who was the goalkeeper of the tournament and Harmanpreet Singh, who was the highest goal scorer of the competition, also got cash prize of Rs. one lakh each.
Asunta Lakra Upcoming Player of the Year Award (Women under 21) was presented to Preeti Dubey, and the Jugraj Singh Upcoming Player of the Year Award (Men – under 21) was presented to Harjeet Singh.