Shekhar Naik, former-captain of the Indian Blind Cricket team, received the Padmashree Award from Hon President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee on 30 March 2017 for his valuable contributions to Indian blind cricket.
Shekhar Naik is one of the greatest blind cricketers in the world who had led the Indian team to victory in the 1stT20 World Cup for the Blind in 2012. Apart from which Shekhar also captained the team for victories in various other World Cup Tournaments too. He has come out of all odds and achieved great success on international stage.
ShekharNaik thanked the India Government for recognizing his hardwork and effort and said that he is extremely grateful and glad for receiving the prestigious Padmashree award. He also added that he is thankful to Samarthanam Trust, andCricket Association for the Blind in India for providing him with this platform and making his dream, of becoming the captain of Indian Blind Cricket team, come true. Mahantesh GK, Founder Managing Trustee Samarthanam and President CABI immensely appreciated Shekhar Naik and thanked Indian Government for the honor.
Shekhar, in his career spanning 12 years, he has played more than 300 matches across all formats and has a staggering 32 centuries to his name from Nationals and Internationals played by him. A feat which seems impossible for the men bestowed with sight to achieve. In a span of just two years, he bagged 7 Man of the Match awards and after a lot of brilliant performances he was handled over the responsibility of being the captain of Indian blind cricket team in 2010. It was a big responsibility and he efficiently handled it leading the Indian blind cricket team to victory in many tournaments.
Shekhar says, “Today, as I receive the Padmashree award, I am overwhelmed with happiness. I feel honored to receive the prestigious award. I have overcome a lot of hurdles to reach this stage and I am glad that my efforts have not been wasted. I would like to encourage the cricket aspirants to come forward and pursue their dreams as cricket is for everyone. The support I received from Samarthanam and CABI cannot be put into words. I am highly thankful for their encouragement which led me to this day.”