Sport is something that excites everyone in the world. Whether cricket or football, one sure has a sports ‘idol’ whom he/she regularly follows. With so many events around, these famous sports personalities are bound to stay in news. Here are the 15 most famous sports personalities who made the headlines this year:
Sachin Tendulkar is one of the best if not the best batsman to have ever touched a cricket bat. He is famous as Master Blaster” and “The God of Cricket”. Sachin is also the highest run-scorer across all the formats in Cricket. He gave Indian Cricket all he had in his 24-year long career. In a country where cricket is the most followed sports cum religion and Sachin is the God of the religion, it is not surprising to see him on this list. His records and performances will always be the landmark comparison in cricket.
Sachin made headlines recently after filing a civil lawsuit against the Australian bat manufacturer, Spartan. He accused it of using his image and name for marketing and then failing to pay him $2 million in royalties.
M.S. Dhoni or Mahi is a former captain of Indian Cricket Team and one the most intelligent players ever to play the game of cricket. He is the only captain in the history of Cricket to have led a team to all 3 ICC Championships: 2007 ICC T-20 World Cup, 2011 ICC World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. All of us still gets the goosebumps when we look at the game-winning sixer hit by Dhoni in the World Cup Finals. Mahi hit the peak of his fame after the release of his biopic in September 2016. The film went on to become a blockbuster with a box-office earning of INR 216 crore.
Recently M.S. made it to headlines because of the ‘balidan’ batch he wore on the gloves in the ICC World Cup 2019. ICC had requested BCCI for removal of the batch which sparked the matter and Dhoni was all over the headlines.
Yuvraj Singh (also known as Yuvi) is an all-time great retired Indian Cricketer. Yuvi was a very integral part of India’s both World Cup-winning campaign in 2007 and 2011. He was the man of the tournament in the 2011 World Cup grabbing 4 man of the match awards in the mega-event. Then 29-year old at the top of his career, Yuvi was diagnosed with cancer. But the prince never gave up and came the mouth of death.
Yuvi is also the only cricketer to have hit 6 sixes in an over in international cricket. Yuvraj announced his retirement recently after being left out of the Indian Squad for the 2019 World Cup. He is being congratulated by athletes all around the world on his wonderful career and achievements playing in the blue jersey.
Virat Kohli is the captain of Indian Cricket team and arguably the best batsman in the current era. Through his passion for cricket, flamboyance, style, as well as social initiatives, Virat Kohli has always stayed in the limelight. The Indian Captain reigned supreme throughout last season as he became the first player in the history to win all the 3 major ICC Awards. Also, he is the captain of ICC’s both Test and ODI teams of the year. He ranks number 1 in the both ICC ODI and Test rankings for best batsmen. Also, he averaged an astonishing 133.55 in the 14 ODIs last season that too at a strike rate of 102.55.
Apart from sports, he married Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma in December 2017 and couple has gained some of the best endorsement deals of their career since then. Virat was seen stopping the Indian fans from booing Australian Batsman Steve Smith in the recently concluded India vs Australia match of the ICC World Cup 2019.
Harmanpreet Kaur is the Indian Cricketer and the T20 captain of Indian Women Cricket team. The most prominent highlight of India’s all-rounding superstar Harmanpreet Kaur is the 171 runs knock that she hit against Australia in the Women’s World Cup semi-finals, helping India proceed into the finals. She was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2017.
Harmanpreet Kaur made it big in India’s first T-20 star and led the Supernovas to the title in Jaipur with a 37-ball 51 on a track. Kaur was under scrutiny recently in the Women’s T-20 World-cup. The controversy was because of elimination of Indian Women’s Cricketing legend Mithali Raj from the Semi-Finals.
Mithali Dorai Raj is an Indian woman cricketer and the captain of India’s women ODI team. She has both the Arjuna Award (2003) and Padma Shri (2015). In fact, she is the highest run-scorer in the Women’s International Cricket across all the formats. She is the ‘Lady Sachin’ because of her immense stature like Tendulkar in Women cricket. In the 2018 ICC Women’s World Twenty20, Raj got into a controversy with team management.
She accused the coach Ramesh Powar and BCCI COA member Diana Edulji of bias, humiliation and not including her in the T20 world cup semifinals in a letter to BCCI. These series of events put her in the headlines for a long time after the controversy.
Sunil Chhetri is a famous Indian professional footballer who plies his trade as a striker or winger. He is the captain of both Bengaluru FC and the Indian National Football team. Popularly known as Captain Fantastic, Chhetri has managed to score the 2nd highest number of goals in international matches (amongst active players) after Portuguese football legend Cristiano Ronaldo. He is all-time top goalscorer for the Indian National Football team scoring 68 goals in 108 games.
In June 2018, the Indian skipper made it to the headlines as he posted a video of himself urging Indian Football fans to come and watch the Indian Blue Tigers in the stadium playing for the Intercontinental Cup. He got support from many famous sports personalities like Virat Kohli and Sachin Tendulkar. This helped in getting the message out to the bigger mass and all the tickets for the matches were sold out. Also, Sunil is the most capped player to represent the Indian Football team. He surpassed Baichung Bhutia with his 108th appearance against Curacao on 5 June 2019.
Dutee Chand is a successful Indian professional sprinter and the current national champion in the women’s 100m category. She is the third Indian woman ever to qualify for the Women’s 100 metres event in the Summer Olympic Games. In 2018, Chand clinched India’s first medal since 1998 as she won silver in women’s 100m at the Asian Games Jakarta, Indonesia.
In May 2019, Dutee bravely came out as India’s first openly gay athlete as she made the revelation that she is in a same-sex relationship with a partner from her village. Her revelation attracted a lot of attention as her parents and villagers opposed her calling her act as unethical and unacceptable. While she gained appreciation from the LGBTQ+ community and celebrities all around the world for her brave decision.
Neeraj Chopra is the poster boy of India when it comes to Javelin Throw or even athletics in general. He took the world by surprise winning a gold medal in the 2016 IAAF World U20 champion and setting the world junior record of 86.48 m at the U20 championships. In 2017, Neeraj won another gold medal in the Asian Athletic championships with a throw of 85.23 meters. Chopra then joined the elite list of athletes to win a gold medal in his first Commonwealth games appearance. Following these stellar performances, he became the first Indian athlete to win the gold medal in Javelin Throw in the Asian Games, setting the national record of 88.06 m.
Neeraj has not competed since picking up an injury to his right elbow late last year. In fact, he was forced to skip the Asian Championships held in Doha from April 21 to April 24 this year. He underwent successful surgery in May 2019 and is recovering without any complications.
R Ashwin is an Indian Cricketer and a bowling allrounder who bowls right-arm off break. He has been an instrumental part of Indian bowling line up in the current era. Although he is still a part of India’s Test squad, he has been out of the white ball international for a while now. He is the captain of Kings 11 Punjab in the IPL. He faced a lot of criticism in the recently concluded edition of IPL when he ‘mankaded’ star batsman of Rajasthan Royals, Jos Buttler. This decision of his invited a lot of attraction from all over the cricketing world.
Saina Nehwal is an Indian badminton player and India’s first shuttler to win a medal at the Olympics. She has been the World No.1 in the BWF rankings – the only Indian woman shuttler to achieve the milestone. Saina has over 23 international titles to her name out of which 10 are Superseries titles. Saina is an eminent athlete who has given an immense contribution in making the sport of Badminton popular in the country. After MS Dhoni and Milkha Singh, a biopic on Saina Nehwal’s life and achievements is in line as one of the major releases in the Bollywood. Actress Parineeti Chopra will be playing Saina in the film.
Mary Kom is an Indian Olympic boxer who hails from the North Eastern state of Manipur. Mary Kom is a 6-time World Amateur Boxing Champion, and the only woman boxer to win a medal in all seven world championships apiece. In the 2012 London Olympics, Mary became (and remains) the only Indian woman boxer to qualify for the Summer Olympics. She went on to clinch the bronze medal in the 51 kg flyweight category.
Kom recently made it to headlines after the announcement of Colgate’s Keep India Smiling mission. The Keep India Smiling Foundational Scholarship programme is a national programme offering scholarships and mentorships in the fields of education, sports and community betterment.
13Navjot Singh Sidhu
Navjot Singh Sidhu is a former Indian cricketer and opening batsman. Sidhu had a career spanning over 19 years since his debut in 1983–84. He returned to score four half-centuries in the 1987 World Cup after losing his place in the national team. Through his career, he played in 51 Tests and 136 One Day Internationals for the national cricket team. Sidhu was known for his six-hitting ability which earned him the name “Sixer Sidhu”. He currently plies his trade as the Minister of Local Government, Cultural Affairs, Tourism, and Museums of the State of Punjab. Sidhu manages to remain in the spotlight with his controversial choices whether it is changing the party and bouncing to the opposition or supporting Pakistan after the Pulwama attack.
Gautam Gambhir is one of the most talented, yet underrated cricketers of all-time. Gautam Gambhir announced his retirement from the game in December 2018 after being left out in the IPL auction. He has some big performances when men in blue needed him the most. His memorable World Cup knocks will always hold a special place in hearts of the Indian fans. In 2019, he joined the ruling BJP and recently won the election from the East Delhi (Lok Sabha constituency).
A true patriot, Gambhir manages to stay in the headlines with his comments and views on social media. On learning about the retirement of his fellow left-handed batsman and former Indian legend Yuvraj Singh, he recommended BCCI to retire jersey number 12 as a tribute to the Prince of Indian Cricket.
Hima Das, aka “Dhing Express”, is an Indian sprint runner from Assam. The 19-year-old holds the current Indian national record in 400 meters with a timing of 50.79 seconds that she clocked at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, Indonesia. Das is also the first Indian athlete to ever win a gold medal in a track and field event at the global stage in the IAAF World U20 Championships.
Hima Das was conferred with the Arjuna Award by Hon, President, Mr Ram Nath Kovind on 25th September 2018. The Government of Assam has appointed her as the state’s brand ambassador of sports. Also, the 2nd largest sports brand in the world, Adidas has signed her for an endorsement deal. She is UNICEF India’s first ever youth ambassador for sports. Recently a video clip of Hima breaking down during the medal ceremony with the national anthem in the backdrop had gone viral. This speaks for nations’ high expectations from the 19-year-old.