Sheikh Kamal was bestowed with a posthumous National Sports Award as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina awarded 32 sports personalities for their contributions to a wide range of sports for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 at the Osmani Memorial Hall in the capital yesterday.
Kamal, the eldest son of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, is considered the pioneer in modern sports in the country. He had formed one of the country's most successful clubs, Abahani, apart from making contribution to a number of sports -- football, cricket, basketball, athletics, etc. during his lifetime. A sportsman himself, Kamal had devoted his life to sports, and even though he is regarded by all and sundry as the father of modern sports in the country, his legacy was officially honoured by the government on Sunday, 41 years after his death.
Among the other awardees was Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan, who became only the third cricketer -- out of the 19 to have received it -- to collect the award during his playing career.
Former Tigers skipper Akram Khan had the honour in 1998 while legendary left-arm spinner Mohammad Rafique received the award in 2006.
Aside from cricket, shooters Asif Hossain Khan (2002) and Sharmin Akter (2006) also received the national award when they were still representing Bangladesh at international events.
The National Sports Awards were started in 1976 and until 2009 a total of 197 athletes and sports organisers were honoured with this award. The state minister for youth and sports Biren Sikder was also present on the occasion.