New DelhI : National team captain P.R. Sreejesh and Harmanpreet Singh were the only two Indians in the 30-strong list of nominees for the 2016 Hockey Stars Awards, the annual prizes recognising the best players, goalkeepers, rising stars, coaches and umpires in the game over a given calendar year.
Sreejesh is a contender for the goalkeeper of the year award, while upcoming defender Harmanpreet is a part of the list for the rising star of the year, which is a category for U-23 players.
There were no Indian contenders for the player of the year award in both the men’s and women’s categories. The nominees’ list for the coach of the year is also bereft of Indians.
The announcement was made during the Hockey Revolution Part 2 conference which is currently taking place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the International Hockey Federation (FIH) said in a statement on Saturday.
Sreejesh, who took over the captaincy from veteran midfielder Sardar Singh in July this year, led the Indian team to the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics the following month.
The 20-year-old Harmanpreet, who is also a penalty corner specialist, was a member of the Indian squad at the Olympics. Five male and five female nominees have been selected for each award. The best player, goalkeeper and rising star awards were selected by a panel consisting of the FIH athletes’ committee, continental federations, coaches and media.
All awards are based on performance at international events during the 2016 season, as well as the player’s overall contribution to the sport. The winners will be decided by the combined results of an online vote that is open to the public and a peer vote from international athletes. Voting for best players, goalkeepers and rising stars will open on November 16 and will close on December 2.
The coach of the year nominations, three from each gender, were selected by the FIH high performance and coaching panel, with winners decided by a peer vote. The 2016 umpire award winners, one male and one female, will be selected by the FIH umpiring committee. All winners will be announced in January 2017.–
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