KUNNATHUKAL: Local boy Sanju V Samson, on Tuesday, received praise from none other than Little Master Sunil Gavaskar, who called him “an additional string” to India’s bow.
“Sanju is a promising batsman; he performs very well,” Gavaskar said of the young cricketer from Kerala, after accepting the Sree Chithira Thirunal Trust National Award-2014 here.
Kerala State Human Rights Commission Justice J B Koshy inaugurated the award function at the Sree Chithira Thirunal Residential Central School, Kunnathukal, in the district. Gavaskar, the first sportsman to win this award, received it from Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien.
“A batsman cannot gain anything alone, so this award goes to all my co-players, coaches, teachers and friends,” said a cheerful Sunny after receiving the award. The Sree Chithira Thirunal Award, comprising a cash prize of Rs one lakh and citation, is presented to commemorate the last king of Travancore Sree Chithira Thirunal.
“Cricket is more than a game, it is something which unites the people of the nation,” Kurien said.
“As far as sports is concerned, Sunil is the most deserving person. We have to remember that this award is in the name of Sree Chithira Thirunal, a benevolent king who abolished capital punishment,” he added.
Former recipients of the award include ISRO former chairman G Madhavan Nair (2006), former national security advisor M K Narayanan (2007), agricultural scientist M S Swaminathan (2008), actor Mohanlal (2009), singer K J Yesudas (2010), former diplomat Nirupama Rao (2011), DMRC principal advisor E Sreedharan (2012) and writer M T Vasudevan Nair (2013).
Kerala Assembly Deputy Speaker N Shaktan, former BCCI secretary S K Nair, managing trustee of Shree Chithira Thirunal School Satheesh Kumar, A T George MLA and school principal S Pushpavally also spoke.