Shillong, Apr 10:┬áThe Meghalaya Cricket Association held its first gala awards night to recognise the efforts and contributions of the state’s players over the course of the 2021-22 season.

The event was graced by former Indian national team captain and Hyderabad Cricket Association President Mohammad Azharuddin, senior MCA officials and other dignitaries. It was held at the State Convention Centre here yesterday evening following the final of the Senior Men Challengers Cup.

There were seven individual award-winners – Manish Sharma, Abhishek Kumar, Chirag Khurana, Ajima Sangma, Punit Singh Bisht, Keven Christopher and Purav Agarwal. DB Ravi Teja was also applauded for his services to Meghalaya cricket as a guest professional; Teja retired from professional cricket last month following Meghalaya’s last Ranji Trophy match of the season.

Meghalaya’s senior men’s team members were also recognised for qualifying for the ‘elite’ level of Ranji cricket and each presented with a plaque.

Manish Sharma picked up three individual awards – for taking 37 wickets in the Cooch Behar and Vinoo Mankad Trophies, 10 wickets in a match and for taking four 5-wicket hauls.

Guest professional Chirag Khurana won two awards – one for scoring 685 runs, including five half-centuries and one century as well as taking 15 wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali, Vijay Hazare and Ranji Trophies while the other was for the highest number of half-centuries, which he and fellow guest professional Punit Singh Bisht both received.

Among the women, Ajima Sangma took 13 wickets during the Senior Women’s One Day Tournament.

Other youngsters who won on the night were Kevin Christopher (for the most number of centuries at three), Purav Agarwal (four five-wicket hauls like Sharma) and Abhishek Kumar (taking 25 wickets in the U-25 Men’s State A Tournament and ongoing Col CK Nayudu Trophy).

In his keynote speech, Azharuddin congratulated the players on their accomplishments and encouraged them to aim higher while always striving to honour their state and the sport itself.

(Meghalaya Cricket Association photo. Mohammad Azharuddin presents an award to Kevin Christopher)

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