JAIPUR: Women cricketers from Rajasthan, who stood out with their performance in the last domestic season, Aayushi Garg and Simran Choudhary bagged the Sundarkanti Joshi (SKJ) Awards in the senior and junior categories, respectively on Sunday.
In the T20s and one-dayers played in both the U-23 and senior categories, all-rounder Aayushi scored 576 runs and took 16 wickets in 2019-20. Expressing her delight, Rajasthan’s batting all-rounder Aayushi said, “My last two seasons have been really great and I am glad my contribution has been recognised and awarded. Such an award will make people aware of the local talent and they will know there is recognition in women’s cricket as well.”
Left-arm spinner Simran too has been a consistent performer. With her contribution of 97 runs and nine wickets in the one-day trophy last season, the bowling all-rounder pipped everyone else among the juniors. “It’s for the first time that I have won any award for my contribution as a cricketer. I feel it can help motivate the players and make them stay positive,” said Simran.
Former Rajasthan player Yogesh Mathur, who headed the selection committee meeting to pick the names of the winners, said that it was a difficult choice to make in the senior’s category. “Aayushi and Sonal Kalal were the frontrunners, but after a lengthy discussion, the panel decided to give the award to the former for her all-round performance.”
Applauding the initiative to felicitate the women cricketers of Rajasthan, chairman Rajasthan women’s selection committee Gangotri Chauhan believes that this will add to the motivation of the players. “This award will create a healthy competition among the players as to who will win it next year, which I feel is a very good thing. If there’s competition, there’s performance,” said Chauhan, who was also a part of the award selection panel.
The organiser of the awards, former Rajasthan player Vipin Joshi said that the first-ever awards to felicitate women cricketers of the state will now be an yearly fixture. “The announcement of the winners will be made every year on the eve of the International Women’s Day,” he added.