India cricketer Mohammed Shami claimed the ‘Sportsman of the Year (Team Sports)’ honour at the Sportstar ACES Awards 2024 held at the Taj Mahal Palace here on Thursday. Shami was the top wicket-taker of the ODI World Cup 2023 with 24 scalps. The fast bowler registered the best figures in a World Cup knockout match, 7 for 57 against New Zealand.

“I am from a place which has no facilities. My journey has hinged on luck, effort, and support from my family and friends. I am grateful for everything — even a person who has contributed 1 per cent to my success,” Shami said.

R Vaishali receives the Sportswoman of the Year award from Praveen Thipsay, Chess Grandmaster, during the Sportstar ACES Awards 2024

R Vaishali receives the Sportswoman of the Year award from Praveen Thipsay, Chess Grandmaster, during the Sportstar ACES Awards 2024 | Photo Credit: EMMANUAL YOGINI

Chess exponent R Vaishali won the ‘Sportswoman of the Year (individual) award’. Vaishali helped the Indian women’s chess team win the silver medal at the Asian Games. At the Qatar Masters 2023, she earned her final Grandmaster norm.

“It is amazing to be among so many achievers in this hall. It is truly inspiring to be here,” Vaishali said.

Former Indian cricket team captain Sunil Gavaskar, the ACES Awards 2024 jury chairman, paid tribute to all the winners.

‘Difficult task’

“With the kind of performances that we keep seeing in Indian sports, it gets more and more difficult to pick the award winners every year. Looking at videos and reading about the nominees gives the jurors so much joy. It is like you are floating in the air. I am sure that these incredible feats will serve as an inspiration for young sportspersons,” Gavaskar said.

The batting maestro had a word of advice for young sportspersons. “I am very grateful to Indian cricket. I am here today only because of Indian cricket. So to all sportspersons, I say, Never forget your institution and your roots,” Gavaskar said.

Indian para-archer Sheetal Devi received the loudest applause as she recalled her inspirational journey. Devi is the first and only international para-archery champion without upper limbs. She received the Arjuna Award earlier this year.

Sheetal Devi took home two awards: ‘Sportstar of the Year (Female)’ and ‘Moment of the Year’.

NTPC Ltd. won the ‘Best Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) for the Promotion of Sports’ award.

Tata Steel Limited received the ‘Best Corporate for the Promotion of Sports’ award.

The Sportstar Aces Awards is presented by Amul, powered by IDFC First Bank in association with Indian Oil. The associate partners are LIC India, State Bank of India, Greyon Cosmetic, India Cements, United India Insurance, NTPC, Ramaiah University.

The realty partner is Casagrand, with online grocery partner Big Basket, colour partner Nippon Paint, and education partner Christ University. The co-sponsors are Pratiyogita Darpan, SSVM, and PSG. Additionally, Signpost is the digital OOH partner, NDTV is the broadcast partner, Dailyhunt is the online streaming partner, and Wordwork is the PR partner.