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I was ready for Arjuna Award snub: Sehwag

A day before being bestowed with the Arjuna Award, Virender Sehwag said he would have never allowed his game to be affected even if he had missed out on the honour.

india Updated: Aug 28, 2003 22:50 IST

A day before being bestowed with the Arjuna Award, flamboyant batsman Virender Sehwag on Thursday said he would have never allowed his game to be affected even if he had missed out on the coveted honour due to the controversy surrounding his late nomination.

"Of course it is a great honour to be picked for this Award. But like a true sportsman I would have taken it in my stride even if I was not selected," Sehwag said.

The 24-year-old right hand bat said he did not allow the controversy over his late nomination affect him too much but deep inside he was hoping he would be included.

"I did not lose sleep over it (controversy). There was this suspense will I or won't I? It is every player's wish to be rewarded for his efforts. And now that I have won the award I am really thrilled," he said.

Sehwag said he was grateful to his family, his two coaches -- Anil Sharma and Satish Sharma who believed in him and the Cricket Board for recommending his name.

The local boy said he had come down from Bangalore especially for the award ceremony and would immediately return for an extended session with physiotherapist Andrew Leipus who has been attending to his injured back.

Sehwag's nomination was shrouded in controversy after the Cricket Board submitted his name to the government reportedly after the May 31 deadline.

The Arjuna Awards committee added to the drama by nominating an excess number of sportspersons for the Awards and to make matters worse, the list was also leaked to the press.

After the government asked the committee to prune the list as per its guidelines, Sehwag's name was believed to have been omitted because of his late nomination.

But springing a surprise, the government decided to accept all the 21 names originally recommended by the committee.

Sehwag, who made his international debut against Pakistan in Mohali in 1998-99, has scored 2,255 runs in one-dayers at an average of 34.69. In Tests he has compiled 872 runs in 14 matches at an average of 41.52.

First Published: Aug 28, 2003 22:49 IST