Indian sports have witnessed unprecedented success in recent times. Whereas the cricket team has emerged as the top Test team, the football team has reached their highest FIFA ranking (96) under Stephen Constantine. Further, India’s performance at the Commonwealth, Olympics, South Asian Federation Games, Afro Asian Games and other international events has witnessed tremendous improvement in the recent decade.
Independence Day is just around the corner and this is the time to remember ans salute our heroes. Let’s have a look at India’s biggest sporting icons who have brought laurels to the country.
Kapil Dev was one of the greatest all-rounders to have ever graced the game of cricket. He was India's best fast bowler, best all-rounder and one of the country’s top notch captains who will always be remembered for leading the country to the biggest thing to happen to Indian cricket: the 1983 World Cup triumph.
With the ball, he was known for his energetic action and lethal outswingers which took the ball away from the right handers. With the bat, he was an aggressive lower-middle order batsman who could shift the momentum of a game in minutes. On the field, he was known for his inspirational leadership and athletic fielding.
All these qualities made him the only player in the history of the game to have taken 400 wickets and scored more than 5000 runs in Test cricket.
At the age of 16, she became the youngest Indian sprinter to compete in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.
She has won 101 international medals and presently runs her coaching academy in Kerala.
After Anjali Bhagwat, Abhinav Bindra became the poster boy for the sport of shooting in India. in 2008, after fighting his fatal back injury, Abhinav rose like a phoenix and clinched India’s first individual Olympic gold medal.
He announced his retirement from the game after participating in his last Olympics in 2016.
Further, he successfully claimed the Chess Oscar 6 times.
He has won several awards and the most notable ones that he received are the Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shri, and Arjuna Award.
Since then, he went on to conquer various feats and piled on thousands of runs. The icing on the cake were the 2011 World Cup victory and 100 centuries. The latter achievement catapulted him as the greatest batsman ever to play the game.
He has won eight doubles and ten mixed doubles Grand Slam titles, and is the oldest man to have won a Grand Slam title. He holds a career Grand Slam in men's doubles and mixed doubles, and achieved the rare men's doubles/mixed doubles double at the 1999 Wimbledon tournament.
His mixed doubles Wimbledon title in 2010 made him the second man (after Rod Laver) to win Wimbledon titles in three decades.
He also won a bronze medal in singles in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic games.
Sushil won the gold medal in the 74 kg division at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
In 2013, she won a bronze medal at the Badminton World Championships to become the first Indian women's singles player to do so.
In March 2015, she became the recipient of India's fourth highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri.
Further, she is the only Indian woman boxer to win the bronze medal in 2012 Summer Olympics in the flyweight (51 kg) category. Her legendary status was enhanced as she became the first Indian woman boxer to win the Gold Medal in the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea.
Advani won the 2014 IBSF World 6-Red Snooker Championship, on his debut in that discipline. The Indian government bestowed several awards on Advani like the Arjuna Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Padma Shri for his remarkable achievements in the sports arena.