Indian athletes Jasprit Bumrah, Harmanpreet Kaur, Savita Punia and Heena Sidhu made it to this year’s Forbes India 30 Under 30 list, which was released on Monday, February 5.
The list prepared by Forbes is based on three broad criterias: the extent of impact of their achievements, and their ability to disrupt the status quo; scalability of the business or line of work and; their potential to stay a long-term player. Another criteria for making it to the list was not belonging to the category of well-established names, next-generation entrepreneurs and having access to an influential lineage.
Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who made his Test debut against South Africa this January, had a spectacular 2017 to get included in the list of Forbes India 30 Under 30. Claiming 39 wickets in 23 ODIs last year, the 24-year old was named in the ICC’s ODI Team of The Year. He has specifically proved effective in the limited overs format in the last few years. Bumrah took a total of 14 wickets in his debut three-match Test series in South Africa.
India rode on Harmanpreet Kaur’s blistering knock of 171 in the World Cup semifinal last year against Australia to set up a final clash against England, which became the most watched women’s cricket match ever. The 28-year-old from Punjab’s Moga evoked memories of Kapil Dev’s historic 175 not out against Zimbabwe during the 1983 World Cup. Harmanpreet, who was among the 17 sportspersons named for the Arjuna Awards, not only played beautifully throughout the tournament but also reminded India that women play cricket too. Harmanpreet is the first Indian female cricketer to sign up for the Big Bash League, with Sydney Thunder.
Even though former World No. 1 Heena Sidhu suffered a finger injury last year, which meant that her fingers trembled when she tried to shoot, she did not give up on herself and ensured a comeback. The Arjuna Awardee clinched gold at the Commonwealth shooting championships in Brisbane, Australia, last October. Sidhu is also one of those few athletes who do not hesitate to take a stand. She made bold statements in 2014 and 2016 when she refused to travel to Tehran for the Asian Air Gun Championships because Iran had made wearing the hijab mandatory for women participants.
Savita Punia has proven to be an important part of the Indian hockey team on multiple occasions – the biggest one probably being when her save against Japan helped India to keep the 1-0 lead and qualify for Rio 2016 Olympics. She again came to India’s rescue in the Asia Cup final against China, where she made a stunning save to help her side win the match and book a spot in the World Cup this year. She was also awarded the goalkeeper of the tournament for her performance.
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