Manorama Sports Star 2023: Sreeshankar, Sachin, Sidhartha make it to final list

Sreeshankar, Sachin, and Sidhartha were among the six shortlisted nominees picked by an expert panel. Photo: Manorama

Kochi: Long-jumper M Sreeshankar, cricketer Sachin Baby, and para-shooter Sidhartha Babu have made it to the final phase of Kerala's biggest sports award - Manorama Sports Star 2023 - instituted by Malayala Manorama in association with Santa Monica Study Abroad.

Sreeshankar, Sachin, and Sidhartha were among the six shortlisted nominees picked by an expert panel. Those who missed out on the final three spots are cricketer Minnu Mani, athlete Muhammad Ajmal, and footballer K P Rahul.

The sportsperson with maximum number of votes will receive the Manorama Sports Star 2023 award and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh. The second and third prize winners will be awarded trophies and a cash prize of Rs 3 lakh and Rs 2 lakh respectively.

Ace tennis player Rohan Bopanna will announce the winner at a gala event to be held here on Tuesday.

Following the announcement of the final three contenders for Manorama Sports Star 2023 on Monday night, Sreeshankar, Sachin, and Sidhartha met up with each other. They exchanged pleasantries and congratulated each other.

Excerpts from their interaction:A prestigious award

Sachin: I had attended the Manorama Sports Star award ceremony in the past. I have always yearned to be part of this event, at least as a spectator. After a six-year-long wait, I am getting that opportunity. I'm absolutely delighted.

Sreeshankar: I had made it to the final phase of the Manorama Sports Star award a couple of years ago. I'm proud to be among the final three contenders once again. Some of the best moments in my sporting career came in the year 2023.

Sidhartha: I have never won a sports award. The Manorama Sports Star award celebrates the achievements of sportspersons. Such awards are a source of encouragement for us.

Who will be the winner?

Sachin: I'm confident because I could score big runs and remain consistent in domestic cricket over the past one year. In the 2023-24 Ranji Trophy season, I got 830 runs from seven matches and scored four centuries and fifties each.

Sreeshankar: Sachin, Sidhartha and I have done extremely and well in the year under review. That is why we could enter the final phase.

Sidhartha: I could overcome my physical challenges and beat mainstream marksmen to win medals at the 2023 National Shooting Championship. It is hard to predict the winner of this year's Manorama Sports Star award. I will be happy if anyone of us takes home the honour.

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