Test, ODI & Overall Cricketer of the Year: Kohli Sweeps ICC Awards
Virat Kohli has created yet another piece of history to cap a sensational year in international cricket. The Indian captain has become the first player to sweep the three headline titles at the ICC’s annual awards after being named Test Player of the Year, ODI Player of the Year and Cricketer of the Year for 2018.
Kohli’s unprecedented awards treble comes after a year which saw him finish as the top-ranked batsman in both Tests and ODIs, in addition to becoming the first Indian captain to oversee a Test series win in Australia.
The 30-year-old amassed 1322 runs at an average of 55.08 with five centuries in 13 Tests, while hitting 1202 runs at a staggering average of 133.55 with six hundreds in 14 ODIs over the previous calendar year.
Apart from the individual honours, Kohli has also been named captain of both the Test and the ODI Teams of the Year for the second straight edition of the ICC Awards.
King Kohli: Undisputed No. 1
In 2017, Kohli had bagged two of the three top honours – the ODI Player of the Year, and the overall Cricketer of the Year. The Test title had gone to then-Australian captain Steven Smith, but in the absence of his closest rival to the mantle of the generation’s best batsman due to a one-year ban, it was the Indian skipper who dominated the mindspace of the adjudicators.
The entire ICC Voting Academy – featuring 12 commentators and 12 journalists representing all Full Member nations – unanimously voted in favour of Kohli for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy, awarded to the Cricketer of the Year.
South African pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada came second behind Kohli in the overall and the Test Player of the Year categories, while Afghanistan spin sensation Rashid Khan was the runner-up for the ODI award.
“It feels amazing. It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year. I feel really grateful and very, very happy with the team doing well at the same time myself performing. 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.”Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli in 2018
- Tests: 13 matches, 1322 runs, average 55.08, five 100s
- ODIs: 14 matches, 1202 runs, average 133.55, six 100s
- All Int’ls: 37 matches, 2735 runs, average 68.37, 11 hundreds
- Captaincy Record: Six wins in 13 Tests, nine wins in 14 ODIs
“To be rewarded in this manner from amongst all of them is 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. From that point of view, these awards give you that extra motivation.”Virat Kohli
ICC CEO David Richardson was effusive in his praise for the Indian captain’s treble-winning heroics.
“This is well-deserved recognition for an extraordinary talent. His regard for the game and particularly for Test cricket is also recognized and appreciated. He is passionate in his support of the longest form of the game and its continued importance. To be recognized as a true cricketing great you need to be successful at all formats of the game and Virat has become a great ambassador for our sport,” said Richardson.
The Test laurel completes Kohli’s ‘set’ at the ICC Awards – the Test Player of the Year title was the only mantle missing from his cabinet, with Kohli having bagged both the Cricketer of the Year and the ODI Player of the Year in 2017, in addition to his maiden ICC award in the ODI category in 2012.
The 36-member Voting Academy for the ICC Awards 2018 included past stalwarts of cricket like Mike Hussey, Nasser Hussain, Ian Smith, Ramiz Raja and Shaun Pollock.