Dubai, Jan. 23:
The peerless Virat Kohli Tuesday became the first cricketer to make a clean-sweep of the ICC’s annual individual awards and was also named captain of the world body’s Test and ODI teams of the year, line-ups which were dominated by Indian players.
Kohli became the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, his second consecutive, the ICC Test and the ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018. Besides, the rapidly-rising wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant claimed the ICC’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year award.
“Not only is Kohli the first player to win these three major ICC awards together but he has also been named the captain of the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year for a fabulous run in international cricket,” the ICC said in a statement.
Kohli scored 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five hundreds during the calendar year while in 14 ODIs he amassed 1202 runs at an astonishing average of 133.55 with six centuries. He also scored 211 runs in 10 T20Is.
“It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year. Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game,” Kohli was quoted as saying by the world body in a release.
“… obviously a very proud moment for me and something that gives you more motivation to keep repeating the same things because you have to keep the standard of cricket up and keep bringing in consistent performances,” he added.
Three players each from India and New Zealand featured in the ICC’s Test team of the year, while four each from India and England are part of the ODI side of the year 2018.
The Test team included Pant, in just his breakthrough Test year, and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who was the only player apart from Kohli to be named in both the sides.
The ODI team has opener Rohit Sharma, spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Bumrah from India along with Kohli, while England are represented by Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes.
The 30-year-old Kohli, who first came into limelight when he led India to victory at the ICC Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia in 2008, finished the year as the top-ranked batsman in Tests and ODIs.