~ Abhishek has been nominated in two categories at 6th edition of the Hockey India Annual Awards ~

New Delhi, 30th March 2024: The stage is set for the highly anticipated 6th edition of the Hockey India Annual Awards, set to take place on Sunday, in New Delhi. This year's awards ceremony boasts an unprecedented total prize pool of INR 7.56 crores. A total of 32 nominations spanning eight categories have clinched a spot on the shortlist for these annual accolades. These nominees will be lauded for their remarkable contributions to Indian hockey throughout the 2023 calendar year.

The prestigious awards ceremony will be graced by Hockey Legends including Olympians Raghbir Lal, A.S. Bakshi, Harbinder Singh, Ashok Diwan, Zafar Iqbal, Ajit Pal Singh, Romeo James, Jagbir Singh, M.P. Singh, and Vineet Kumar. Hockey India Secretary General Shri Bhola Nath Singh, and Treasurer Shri Sekar J Manoharan will be present, along with Hockey India Executive Board Members. Other notable attendees include Shri R Vineel Krishna, IAS, Commissioner-Cum-Secretary DSYS, Odisha; Dr Atulya Misra, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary to Government of Tamil Nadu, and Shri Meghanath Reddy, IAS, Member Secretary SDAT, Tamil Nadu.

Among the nominees is Indian forward Abhishek, who enjoyed a tremendous year making a mark with his stellar performances. For his consistent display, Abhishek has been nominated in two categories - Hockey India Dhanraj Pillay Award for Forward of the Year 2023 (Men) and Hockey India Balbir Singh Sr. Award for Player of The Year 2023 (Men).

Speaking on his dual nominations, Abhishek said, "It is a matter of great honour for me to be nominated this year in two categories. I wish to thank the Hockey India support staff, our coaches and my teammates who constantly supported me and always advised me whenever I was in need. Because of their constant backing, I gained confidence and was able to perform freely."

Abhishek, who scored three goals in six games at the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's Hockey World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, continued his form at the Hangzhou Asian Games, where he scored 9 goals in 7 games, helping his side to a Gold medal win. He was also named the Player of the Match after India's thrilling 2 - 2 (8 - 7 SO) win over Spain at the FIH Men's Hockey Pro League 2023/24 last month in Rourkela.

Recapping the last year, Abhishek said, "It was a good year for me. Every time I step out on the field wearing the Indian jersey, my aim is to ensure that I give my absolute best to help my team get the desired result. More than the individual achievements, it is about ensuring the team performs well and they are able to find me in the desired positions at the correct times, and that is what I worked on this year. I hope to continue to improve as we go further into the current year."

With the Paris Olympics approaching, the Indian Men's Hockey Team will tour Australia to compete in a five-match Test series against the World No. 5 team. Speaking on the importance of the tour, Abhishek said that the coming series is a chance for the Indian team to work on key areas ahead of the Olympics.

"This is an important year for each and every one with the Paris Olympics coming up. Our team is focused on improving ourselves ahead of major competitions and hence, we all are really looking forward to the tour of Australia to test ourselves and our strategies against strong opposition," he signed off.

The awards will telecast live on DD Sports, and will also be livestreamed on Hockey India YouTube Page (https://youtube.com/live/ELO4KX04qxg?feature=share), Fan code and on Watch.Hockey.

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