Virat Kohli bags ICC Cricketer of the Year

Virat Kohli

Dubai, Jan 18: India skipper and run-machine Virat Kohli has won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2017 as the International Cricket Council announced the men’s individual award winners of 2017 on Thursday.

Kohli also bagged the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year award, while Australia skipper Steve Smith was declared as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year.

In the qualification period from September 21, 2016 to December 31, 2017, Kohli scored 2,023 runs in 18 Tests with eight centuries and three half-centuries. He also smashed 1,818 runs in 31 ODIs with seven centuries and nine half-centuries and 299 runs at a strike-rate of 152.55 in 10 T20Is during the voting period.

It should be noted that Kohli has become the 13th player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy since 2004.

Kohli also won his second ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year award after having won the same award in 2012, making him the first cricketer to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophyand the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year award in the same year.

In the race for ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year, Kohli beat the challenge of Pakistan’s Hasan Ali and India team-mate Rohit Sharma, who finished second and third, respectively.

Reflecting on the same, Kohli said, “It means a lot to me to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year and ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year. I won the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year back in 2012 but this is the first time I have won the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

It is a huge honour for me as it is probably the biggest award we have in world cricket. Two Indians winning it back to back makes it more special. I also want to congratulate all the other winners.”

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson, on the other hand, congratulated Kohli for winning the gong.

“On behalf of the ICC, I want to congratulate Virat Kohli for winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy. It is the most prestigious individual award in cricket, named after one of the most iconic cricketers and recognises a player for outstanding performances across all formats over a period of time. Only the best of the best have won this award and Virat certainly deserves to be in that select group of cricketers,” Richardson said.

“The fact that he has also won the ODI Cricketer of the Year and was named by the Voting Academy as the captain of both the ICC Test and ODI team demonstrates the impact he has had across the sport over the last year,” he added.

Australia captain Steve Smith finished second to Kohli for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, but has outvoted his India opposite number to win his maiden ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award.

This was the 28-year-old’s third ICC award, having lifted the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophyand the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year in 2015, which had made him only the seventh player to win the two awards in the same year.

In the voting period, Smith scored 1,875 runs in 16 Tests with eight centuries and five half-centuries.

Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Hasan Ali was named as ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year, Afghanistan’s wrist-spinner Rashid Khan was adjudged ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year, while India’s Yuzvendra Chahal claimed the ICC T20I Performance of the Year for his six for 25 against England in Bengaluru on February 1, 2017.

Hasan Ali capped a memorable year by becoming the first Pakistan player to be voted as the ICC Emerging Cricketer of the Year. The 23-year-old had won the Player of the ICCChampions Trophy 2017 award and finished the year as number-one ranked ODI bowler after having started the year in 75th position.

Hasan Ali took 48 wickets in 21 ODIs and 16 wickets in 11 T20Is he played in voting period.

Rashid Khan, Afghanistan’s 18-year-old wrist spinner, has been named as the ICCAssociate Cricketer of the Year after he helped his side to victory in the four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup by finishing with 23 wickets in three matches.

Rashid, who is the second Afghanistan player to clinch this award, was also the leading ODI wicket-taker in the voting period with 50 wickets in 19 matches, while 13 T20Is also yielded him 23 wickets.

Rashid Khan was over the moon after hearing the news, when he said: “I’m really honoured and happy to be named as the ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year. 2017 was a good year for me and I have lots of memories from last year, which are going to stay with me for a very long time.

India’s Yuzvendra Chahal (six for 25 against England) narrowly edged out Evin Lewis of the Windies (125 not out against India) and Rohit Sharma (118 against Sri Lanka) to win the ICC T20I Performance of the Year. He is the second India player to win this award after Yuvraj Singh (2008).

Meanwhile, Marais Erasmus of the Emirates Elite Panel of ICC Umpires has won the David Shepherd Trophy for the ICC Umpire of the Year for the second year running. He is the fifth umpire to put a hand to this trophy after Simon Taufel (2004-2008), Aleem Dar (2009-2011), Kumar Dharmasena (2012) and Richard Kettleborough (2013-2015).

England women’s cricket team all-rounder Anya Shrubsole has won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award.

Shrubsole displayed humility and exemplary sportsmanship after the ICC Women’s World Cup semi-final against South Africa in Bristol when, after hitting the winning boundary with two wickets and two balls to spare, she opted to comfort distraught captain Dane van Niekerk before celebrating with her teammates. It was an act reminiscent of Andrew Flintoff consoling Brett Lee at Edgbaston in 2005 and Grant Elliott comforting Dale Steyn after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 semi-final in Auckland, demonstrating the true spirit of cricket.

Pakistan, who stunned India to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, has been voted by the fans around the world as the inaugural winner of the ICC Fans Moment of the Year.(ANI)