India skipper Virat Kohli has rewritten the history books by becoming the first player to clinch the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards in the same year. Moreover, the 30-year-old was named the captain of ICC’s Test and ODI team of the year.
Kohli clinched all three major ICC awards following an extraordinary 2018 in which he scored 1,322 Test runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 matches with five tons and 1202 ODI runs at an astonishing average of 133.55 in 14 games including six centuries. The Indian captain also piled up 211 runs in 10 T20Is during the last calendar year.
Virat finished the year as the top-ranked batsman in Tests and ODIs. The leading run-getter in both forms of the game in 2018, Kohli was one of the only two batsmen to score more than 1,000 runs in Tests and only among three to do so in ODI cricket.
Kohli was the unanimous choice of the Voting Academy* for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy with South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada coming in second to him. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was runner up to Kohli for the ICC ODI Player of the Year 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,” Kohli quoted as saying by ICC.
“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,” he added.
Hailing Kohli for his record-breaking performances last year, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: “Sincere congratulations to every one of our individual winners and those players named in our ICC Test and ODI teams of the year. Special mention must go to Virat Kohli, who becomes the first ever player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers award along with Test Player of the Year and ODI Player of the Year and be named as captain of both teams.
“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,” Richardson further said.
It is worth mentioning here that Kohli was the winner of Sir Garfield Trophy and ICC ODI Player of the Year last year. He was also named the ICC ODI Player of the Year back in 2012.
(With ICC inputs)