KATHMANDU, June 26: Cricket players and coaches dominated the list of nominees for the Pulsar Sports Award unveiled Tuesday by Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF).
There were six nominees from cricket in four different categories, followed by four nominees each from swimming and athletics in the list of 20 athletes and coaches, the winners of which will be announced on July 4.
Golf, equestrian, badminton, weightlifting, table tennis and judo completed the list with one nominee each.
Those nominated for Player of the Year (Male) are Shailesh Rana (swimming), Paras Khadka (cricket), Tilakram Tharu (athletics), Shiva Ram Shrestha (golf) and Dhruba Prasad Aryal (equestrian).
National swimming champion Rana has been nominated for the annual award for his 14-medal haul in the Sixth National Games. Rana had won 10 golds and four silvers at the event. Rana also created a new national record in the 200m individual medley, completing it in 2 minutes 31.87 seconds.
Cricketer Khadka was the captain of the APF cricket team that won gold in the National Games. Khadka also led the national side to its first ever semifinal of the ACC T20 Cup. He also deserves credit for the rise in the ranking of the Nepali T20 team from 16th to 8th following the team´s performance in the World T20 Qualifiers held in the UAE. Nepal had won five out of nine matches in the UAE and Khadka was declared man-of-the-match in three matches.
Sprinter Tilakram Tharu of Nepal Police Club had created a new national record of 48.32 seconds in the 400m race during the Onta Sprint Meet. He had also won four golds and one bronze during the National Games.
Golfer Shrestha was nominated for winning seven out of 11 golf titles. He had secured the third position twice in the Surya Nepal Masters contested by foreign players as well. He also achieved the full card of Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI) in early 2012.
Likewise, Aryal won the first international gold for Nepal in equestrian event during the First South Asian Beach Games held in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. It was also the only gold achieved by Nepal during the tournament. He also won one bronze in individual event and two bronzes in team events.
The nominees for Player of the Year (Female) are weightlifter Tara Devi Pun (new record in National Games), athlete Pramila Rijal (4 golds and 1 silver in National Games), swimmer Shreya Dhital (8 golds and 4 silvers in National Games), table tennis player Nabita Shrestha (undefeated in National Ranking Badminton as well as National Games) and badminton player Nangsal Devi Tamang (4 golds in National Games without losing a single set).
In the Player of the Year (Youth) category, cricketer Rubina Chhetri, athlete Siddhant Adhikari, athlete Bishwarupa Budha, swimmer Sirish Gurung and cricketer Prithu Baskota were nominated for their outstanding performances in their respective fields.
Likewise, those nominated for Coach of the Year are Pubudu Dassanayake (cricket), Jagat Tamata (cricket), Nabin Singh (cricket), Bir Bahadur Rana (judo) and Ishwar Karki (swimming).
The players and coaches were nominated by an eight-member selection committee of NSJF. The selection was based on the year-long performance of the athletes, their achievements and the level of the tournament they participated in.
NSJF had earlier made public the list of five nominees for Popular Player of the Year. The winner of the category will be chosen through SMS voting. The five players are Bharat Khawas (football), Ramila Tandukar (volleyball), Sabita Chaudhary (athletics), Aslesha Lissanevitch (tennis) and Shakti Gauchan (cricket).