KATHMANDU, Sept 6: Although the football and cricket are most popular sports in the country, national football team goalkeeper Kiran Kumar Limbu and cricketer Sharad Vesawkar are likely to face tough competition from players of other sports in the Male Player of the Year category in the upcoming NSJF Pulsar Sports Award.
Shuttler Ratnajit Tamang, athlete Som Bahadur Kumal and spiker Man Bahadur Shrestha, who are among the five nominees in the category, are set to give tough competition to Limbu and Vesawkar in the award to be declared by Nepal Sports Journalists Forum (NSJF) on September 11.
Besides Limbu and Vesawkar, three other players are from Tribhuvan Army club.
National football team goalkeeper Limbu had shown great performance including penalty saves to help Nepal win AFC Solidarity Cup in Malaysia last year.
An in-form national cricket team batsman Sharad Vesawkar is another big name to be nominated in the award. Vesawkar stroked 264 runs including three half centuries in nine matches last year for Nepal.
Shuttler Tamang alongside his sister Nangsal, bagged Nepal a mixed doubles gold in the Pakistan International Series, which was first international gold medal won by Nepali badminton. He also clean swept the seventh National Games men’s badminton winning the singles, doubles, mixed and team event gold medals.
Another army man Som Bahadur Kumal is another attraction of the event due to performance in and outside the country. Kumal won the 400m gold in the Brunei Open Athletics Championships and backed it up with 800m silver medal. He also had claimed three gold medals in 7th National Games held in the eastern region last year.
Man Bahadur Shrestha was key player when Nepali national volleyball team won its first international medal during 3rd Asian Central Zone Men’s Volleyball Tournament held in Maldives.
He also won twin man-of-the-match awards during the Bangabandhu Asian Central Zone Volleyball Championship in Bangladesh, while his performance was also crucial in winning Tribhuvan Army Club gold in the seventh National Games. To add to his trophy cabinet, he also collected two best player’s trophies and won best server award thrice in the domestic tournaments.