Ashwin honoured with Arjuna award
India offspinner R Ashwin has been conferred the Arjuna award, an Indian government honour to recognise outstanding achievement in national sport. Ashwin has been India's lead spinner in limited-overs in recent years and was also the quickest bowler to 100 Test wickets since 1931.
The awards were presented by the Indian president Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapathi Bhavan in New Delhi on Friday, but Ashwin was not present for the ceremony as he is currently with the Indian team on the England tour.
The Arjuna awards were instituted in 1961, and 47 Indian cricketers have been honoured with it since. The award consists of a statuette, a certificate, a ceremonial dress, and a cash award of Rs 5 lakhs (around $8250). At least one cricketer has been conferred the award in each of the last six years, with Virat Kohli winning it in 2013.
One of the main criterion for being eligible for the awards is that the sportsperson should "not only have good performance over the previous four years at the international level but also should have shown qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and a sense of discipline."