Boxer Vijender slams cricketers for missing Padma Awards

April 17th, 2009 - 3:03 pm ICT by IANS  

Harbhajan Singh New Delhi, April 17 (IANS) India’s Olympic bronze-medallist Vijender Singh criticised star cricketers Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Harbhajan Singh for skipping the prestigious Padma Awards.
“Those who feel and respect the value of the Padma awards, strive for it and bring glory for the country and often miss out on the awards. I don’t want to comment on those who don’t value this honour,” said the 23-year-old, who won India’s maiden boxing Olympic medal in Beijing.

Vijender and bronze-medal winning wrestler Sushil Kumar were denied Padma Awards despite their incredible performance in the Olympics.

“Back in Beijing, we had given our best and clinched success after a long time in boxing. Yet it was a disappointment when we were not considered for the Padma Awards. But that is for the authorities to decide and I won’t complain. My job is to work hard and hope for a better performance in future,” Vijender added.

Indian captain Dhoni and off-spinner Harbhajan’s absence from the Padma awards ceremony has sparked a controversy.

Sports minister M.S. Gill has criticised the cricketers for skipping the ceremony.

Both Dhoni and Harbhajan, who were to receive the Padma Shri awards by President Pratibha Patil at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Tuesday, skipped the ceremony.

According to media reports, both star players were busy shooting for commercials. Some reports said that Harbhajan was present in the national capital finishing his brand engagements before leaving for the second edition of the Indian Premier League in South Africa.

Harbhajan, however, insisted that he had to be at home in Jalandhar to attend to some pressing family problem.

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