Indian captain Virat Kohli, dominated the ICC Cricket Awards as he was honored with both, cricketer and captain of the year. The aggressive Indian batsman was also named the ODI player of the year, a trophy which he had won for the first time in 2012. His nemesis, competitor, and captain of the Australian side Steven Smith was adjudged Test cricketer of the year.
ICC Cricket Awards – What made Virat the favorite to win the honors?
During the qualification period from September 21, 2016 to the end of 2017, Virat scored 2,203 Test runs at an average of 77.80 including six double-centuries. In ODI’s he scored 1,818 ODI runs at an astonishing average of 82.63 that includes seven hundreds. In T20’s Kohli amassed 299 runs at a strike-rate of 153.
With him at the top of his game, India are ranked among the top three teams in the world as well. All of this culminated in him becoming the ICC cricketer of the year and winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.
After receiving the honours, a jubilant Virat said, “It’s probably the biggest award that we have in world cricket. Two Indians getting it back to back makes it more special. Last time it was Ashwin, this time I’m getting it. 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.”
ICC Cricket Awards – Steven Smith is in the Bradman Zone
Like Virat, Aussie skipper Smith’s numbers are equally mind-boggling. In the recently concluded Ashes Smith was scoring runs with such frequency that comparisons with Don Bradman was made with every passing innings. He has been in sublime form for four years on the trot, scoring over 1000 Test runs in each of them. In the ICC’s qualification period, Smith made 1,875 runs in 16 matches at an mind blowing average of 78.12, with eight hundreds and five half-centuries.
Receiving the award, Steven Smith said, “It’s a great honour to receive this award for the second time, having won it in 2015 as well.” 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.”
ICC Cricket Awards – Fun Fact
In the last five years, four of the last five ICC Test players of the year are Australian. It was Michael Clarke in 2013, Mitchell Johnson in 2014 and Smith in 2015 and 2017.
ICC Cricket awards – King Kohli Rules the ODIs
In the One Day International format, Virat was among the prime candidates to win the award. At the age of 29 he has already hit 32 centuries, going past the great Ricky Ponting’s tally and moving ever closer to the ‘God’ Sachin Tendulkar’s 49 century record.
“2016 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.” Signed off Virat.
ICC Cricket Awards – Other Notable Winners
Pakistan fast bowler Hasan Ali was named emerging player of 2017. This was mostly due to him becoming the quickest bowler from his country to take 50 ODI wickets (in 24 matches). He was also the player-of-the-series in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. Hasan Ali also topped the ICC rankings in one-day cricket, when his career was only 426 days old. Only two others have risen to the top at a better rate.
Emerging Afghanistan Leg spinner, Rashid Khan, was named the Associate player of the year and claimed a place in the ODI team of 2017 as well. New kid on the block, India’s wrist spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was presented with T20 performance of the year award. His 6 for 25 to send England crashing from 113 for 2 to 127 all out was the reason for his felicitation.
ICC Cricket awards – Test team of the year
1 Dean Elgar, 2 David Warner, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Steven Smith, 5 Cheteshwar Pujara, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Quinton de Kock (wk), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Mitchell Starc, 10 Kagiso Rabada, 11 James Anderson
ICC Cricket Awards – ODI team of the year
1 David Warner, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Babar Azam, 5 AB de Villiers, 6, Quinton de Kock (wk), 7 Ben Stokes, 8 Trent Boult, 9 Hasan Ali, 10 Rashid Khan, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
ICC Cricket Awards – All 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)