Kohli named ICC Cricketer of the Year

Virat Kohli ICC Cricketer of the Year Captain of the Year ODI Cricketer of the Year India cricket

Virat Kohli: “I’m really really honoured and I’d like to thank the ICC for recognising all the hard work that we all put in”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

India captain Virat Kohli was bestowed with the honour of being named ICC Cricketer of the Year. He was also named ODI Cricketer of the Year and Captain of the Year.

Kohli’s Cricketer of the Year award stems from his sparkling run of form in all three formats as he scored 2,203 Test runs, which included six double centuries, at an average of 77.80 during the qualification period from September 21, 2016 to the end of 2017.

He also accumulated 1,818 ODI runs, which included seven centuries, at an average of 82.63. Kohli recently struck his 32nd ODI century and moved past former Australia captain Ricky Ponting into second place on the all-time list of players with the most ODI hundreds. Kohli now only sits behind the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who registered 49 centuries during his illustrious career.

The 29-year-old also amassed 299 runs in Twenty20 Internationals at a strike-rate of 153.

“It’s probably the biggest award that we have in world cricket,” Kohli was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo. “Two Indians getting it back to back makes it more special. Last time it was [R] Ashwin, this time I’m getting it so I’m really really honoured and I’d like to thank the ICC for recognising all the hard work that we all put in for our respective sides and I want to congratulate all the other winners also.

“Twenty-sixteen for me I think was a breakthrough year and I was able to continue in 2017 also. I think I worked even harder in 2017 and understand this has been a good phase for me but I will have to work even harder in future to play the same level of cricket I have been able to play in the past two years. But yeah, 2017 was indeed a very special year for me.”

Australia skipper Steve Smith picked up the Test Cricketer of the Year award for his jaw-dropping performances, many of which came during the recent Ashes series against England.

During the qualification period, Smith scored 1,875 runs, which included eight hundreds and five half-centuries, in 16 matches at an average of 78.12.

“It’s a great honour to receive this award for the second time, having won it in 2015 as well,” Smith said. “It’s called Test cricket for a reason, and I’ve enjoyed that test of my ability over the past 12 months.

“I got six Test hundreds for the year in 2017, which I was pleased about. I was pleased with the way I played but what pleased me most of all was that I helped us win Tests and, most importantly, The Ashes.

“To make a contribution in big matches and in big series and assist the team is what it is all about for me, and if I’m doing that then there’s a good chance that awards like this will follow.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan pace bowler Hasan Ali was named Emerging Cricketer of the Year. The 23-year-old enjoyed a highly successful 2017 as he became the fastest Pakistan player to take 50 ODI wickets, needing just 24 matches to reach the milestone.

He was also named Player of the Tournament at the ICC Champions Trophy last June as he took 13 wickets at an average of 14.69.

“It has been memorable past 16 months for me as a young player and Pakistan as a team,” Hasan said. “This acknowledgement will not only inspire me to do even better in the coming seasons but will also convince the next generation of cricketers that hard work and good performances can never go unnoticed.

“This award is for all those who believed and backed us in the journey, and look forward to their continued patronage as the next 18 months will be more challenging with the World Cup in 2019.”

Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan claimed the Associate Cricketer of the Year award, while India spinner Yuzvendra Chahal’s 6-25 against England in February 2017 was adjudged the T20I Performance of the Year.

Marais Erasmus won the ICC Umpire of the Year award, while England women’s cricketer Anya Shrubsole secured the ICC Spirit of Cricket award.

The winners

Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli (India)

Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year – Steve Smith (Australia)

Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli (India)

Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Hasan Ali (Pakistan)

Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year – Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)

Men’s T20I Performance of the Year – Yuzvendra Chahal (6-25 v England) (India)

David Shepherd Trophy for ICC Umpire of the Year – Marais Erasmus

ICC Spirit of Cricket – Anya Shrubsole (England)

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