National cricket captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza was voted as the most popular sportsman of the country as the Bangladesh Sports Press Association handed its annual prizes on Saturday. A total of 23 players, officials and sponsors received the Kool-BSPA Sports Award for their achievements in 2013 and 2014. BSPA, the lone internationally recognised sports journalists and writers body in Bangladesh, is giving the award since 1964.
This year BSPA launched popular sportsman award, where five sportsmen – Mashrafee, Sakib al Hasan, Siddiqur Rahman, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mamunul Islam– were shortlisted.
Mashrafee received 46 per cent votes from fans through BSPA website while all-rounder Sakib al Hasan ended distant second.
Former national captains Roquibul Hasan and Aminul Islam handed over the prize to Mashrafee at the National Sports Council auditorium.
‘It’s a great honour for me as I received my award from two of my elder brothers,’ said Mashrafee.
Former International Cricket Council president AHM Mustafa Kamal attended the prize giving ceremony as chief guest.
Awardees for 2013: Mushfiqur Rahim (Sportsman of the year), Shohag Gazi (cricket), Mamunul Islam (football), Emdadul Haque Milon (archery), Mahfizur Rahman Sagor ( swimming), Fahad Rahman (chess), Zahura Akrer Reshma (weightlifting), Maruful Haque (football coach), Late Kazi Mahtabuddin (organiser), Exim Bank Limited( sponsor), Mominul Haque ( emerging player), Golam Sarwar Tipu (special honour).
Awardees for 2014: Abdullah Hel Baki (Sportsman of the year), Mushfiqur Rahim (cricket), Nasiruddin Chowdhury (football), Hasan Jubayer Niloy (hockey), Golam Rabbani Choton (football coach), Manzur Kader (organiser), First Security Islami Bank Limited (sponsor), Hemanta Vincent Biswas (emerging player), Meurel Gomez (special honour).
-With New Age input