Vote for Sportstar Aces Awards 2021 Giants of the Decade Special

The Sportstar Aces Awards 2021 celebrate consistency in performance and impact of sports stars in the decade between 2011 and 2020.

The nominees:


Sunil Chhetri (Football): Named an ‘Asian Icon’ by the Asian Football Confederation, he is the National team’s most-capped player (and the second-highest goal-scorer among active international footballers, behind Cristiano Ronaldo.

Sardar Singh (Hockey): One of the most-capped international hockey players (314), he led the country for almost eight years after getting the chance for the first time in 2008 when he was just 22, one of the youngest to captain India.

Manpreet Singh (Hockey): Right from his debut in 2011 at the age of 19, he has been an integral part of the country’s growth (India is now ranked No. 4 in the world). The midfielder has proved to be a worthy successor to Sardar.


Savita Punia (Hockey): With more than 200 caps, the 30-year-old goalkeeper is one of the senior-most members in the team. She has been involved in almost every major success for India in the last decade.

Rani Rampal (Hockey): She was only 15 when she took the field at the 2010 World Cup and has been part of every Indian side since, winning a record 241 caps so far. She is the first woman hockey player — and only the third from the sport — to get the Khel Ratna.

Bala Devi (Football): In 2020, she made history by becoming the first Indian woman to sign a professional contract with a foreign club when she joined Scottish side Rangers. She has tasted plenty of success in National colours.


Gaurav Gill: He is India’s best-known face in the world of rallying. In 2019, he became the first motorsports athlete to be awarded the Arjuna for his National and APRC performances.

K. P. Aravind: The Bengaluru rider became the second Indian after C.S. Santosh to complete the Dakar Rally when finished 39th in the 2019 edition. He has won 17 National titles.

Narain Karthikeyan: The first Indian in Formula 1 — he drove for Jordan in the 2005 season — he returned after a six-year break and competed in nine races for Hispania Racing. He is now competing in the Super Formula and Super GT categories in Japan.


Mumbai Indians: If consistency is the yardstick for success, few can match Mumbai Indians. It has won five IPL titles in eight years. In addition, MI has contributed to shaping Indian talent, including the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya.

Patna Pirates: It has been the most successful franchise in the brief history of the Pro Kabaddi League, its three titles coming in successive seasons between 2016 and 2017.

Bengaluru FC: Ever since it came into existence in 2013, it has been Indian football’s leading light. With two I-League titles, two Federation Cups, one ISL crown and one Indian Super Cup, it is the most successful Indian football club of the last decade.


Sushil Kumar (Wrestling): He is the first Indian to claim two Olympic medals in individual sports and the only Indian wrestler to win a world crown. His hat-trick of top podium finishes at the Commonwealth Games (2010, ’14 and ’18) is another first in Indian sport.

Vijay Kumar (Shooting): The pistol king of Indian shooting bagged a silver at the 2012 London Games. He was awarded the Khel Ratna in 2012.

Gagan Narang (Shooting): Gagan shot a bronze in the 10m air rifle event at London 2012. He is also a recipient of the Khel Ratna.


Mary Kom (Boxing): ‘Magnificent’ Mary is the icon of Indian women's boxing. She is the most decorated boxer in World Championships history with eight medals (six gold, one silver and one bronze).

Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifter): She won a silver in the women’s 48kg at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. After a forgettable trip to the Rio Olympics in 2016, she bounced back to clinch the World title in Anaheim, USA, in 2017.

Sakshi Malik: The first Indian woman wrestler to clinch a medal at the Olympic Games (bronze, 2016 Rio), she went on to bag another bronze at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 3:41:11 PM |

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