Telugu Blind Cricketer, Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri received the Arjuna Award 2023 from President Droupadi Murmu

Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri

Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri: Various sports personalities were conferred with the Arjuna Award on Tuesday, 9th January 24 by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.


The Arjuna Award Is the second-highest athletic honor in India, it is given for demonstrating leadership, sportsmanship and discipline along with good performance over the preceding four years. Several athletes across various sports are selected for the National Sports and Adventure Awards.


Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri Received Arjuna Award from President

The Sports Ministry declares nominees for the annual Sports Awards. Visually impaired Cricketer and Indian Men’s Cricket Team for the Blind captain Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri is conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award from the President of India at Rashtrapati Bhavan on January 9, 2024. 

Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri
Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri Received Arjuna Award from President Draupadi Murmu of India

Reddy is among 26 sportspersons selected for the Arjuna Award for outstanding performance in sports and games in 2023. Ajay Kumar Reddy’s primary aspiration as a child was to enlist in the military and help his nation. It broke his heart to hear that people with visual disabilities could not enlist in the army.


However, Ajay, who lost some of his vision at a young age, quickly discovered another method to serve the nation: by playing cricket and representing his nation. Born in Gurazala, Andhra Pradesh, the captain of the Indian blind cricket team lost his left eye in an unusual accident when he was four years old.


His parents were farmers. One day when he was asleep, his parents had gone to work in the field. As he got up to search for his mother, the latch of the door went inside his eye. He had surgery but he lost all vision in his left eye.

Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri
Ajay Kumar Reddy Illuri With Family

Still, he had some vision in his right eye but by the time turned 12 he couldn’t see distant objects. Doctors suggested he should go to blind school to avoid complete vision loss. Being visually impaired didn’t discourage Reddy rather encouraged him to play for his country. 


Since 2010, Reddy, a player at the B2 level, has represented India. He had been part of winning 2 ODI World Cup, 3 T20 World Cup, 1 Asia Cup. He has been the captain of the Indian Cricket Team for the Blind since 2016.


Under his captaincy team, India won 1 ODI World Cup, 1 Asia Cup, a Silver medal in the IBSA World Games and many bilateral and triangular series. Ajay Kumar Reddy is the first blind cricketer t be honored with the Arjuna Award. 


Read More: Asia Cup 2022: श्रीलंकाई शेरों ने खिताब पर किया कब्जा


Reddy, who is currently working in SBI regional office in Bangalore describes this as the “best moment” of his life. He dedicated this award to his parents for their sacrifices and support, and to his fellow teammates.


This is a big moment not just for Ajay Kumar Reddy but for the complete blind community. The Arjuna Award is the recognition that the blind community has been waiting for a long time.