National team captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal won Player of Year Awards.

National team captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal won the Dhruv Batra Player of the Year Award 2019 in the men’s and women’s categories respectively at the third Hockey India Annual Awards.

Manpreet and Rani received a cash award of Rs 25 lakh each, besides trophies, as the achievements of the current and former Indian hockey players were celebrated at a glittering ceremony here.

Manpreet became the first Indian to win the International Hockey Federation’s (FIH) Player of the Year award last month, while Rani became the first-ever player to win the prestigious ‘World Games Athlete of the Year’ award in January.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that “I always believed that hockey is the heart and soul of Indian sports. It is the pillar of Indian sports. I would like to assure that whatever support is needed from the government’s side for hockey, we will provide,”

Among other awards, Olympic gold medallist Harbinder Singh won the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 for his outstanding contribution to the sport. He received a cash prize of Rs 30 lakh and a trophy.

The Milestone Awards were presented to Deep Grace Ekka, Kothajit Singh and Savita for playing 200 international matches. They received a cheque of Rs 1 lakh each, plus a trophy.

Harmanpreet Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay and Nikki Pradhan were also recognised for playing 100 matches for India. They were presented with a cheque of Rs 50,000 each and a trophy.

Manpreet was also awarded a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for winning the FIH Men’s Player of the Year 2019, while youngsters Vivek Sagar Prasad and Lalremsiami received cash awards of Rs 5 lakh each for winning the FIH Rising Star of the Year 2019 Awards in the men’s and women’s categories respectively.

Rani was also given a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for winning the prestigious World Games Athlete of the Year 2019.

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