Indian skipper Virat Kohli won not one but two highly illustrious records at the gala function of ICC’s annual awards for 2017 – Cricketer of the Year and ODI Player of the Year. On the other hand, Australia captain Steve Smith has been crowned the ICC’s ‘Test Player of the Year’ for a second time (2015, 2017).
Virat Kohli was the foremost winner of the ICC annual awards. The Indian skipper won the highly illustrious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy being named the ‘Cricketer of the Year’. The 29-year-old aggressive captain was also named the ‘ODI Player of the Year’.
Steve Smith, on the other hand, was named ICC’s ‘Test Player of the Year’ as the 28-year-old looked like the champion of the long format cricket in 2017. Smith has scored more runs and more centuries than any Test player in 2017. The Aussie’s average (76.76) in 2017 was also the highest out of all batsmen who scored more than 500 runs in the season.
In five years, this is the fourth time that an Australian has won the award – Michael Clarke (2013), Mitchell Johnson (2014) and Steve Smith (2015) were crowned the world’s best in Tests previously. Interestingly, the award for the year 2016 was won by Indian spin-specialist Ravichandran Ashwin.
Pakistan’s lethal pacer Hasan Ali was awarded the ‘Emerging Cricketer of the Year’ owing to his lead role in helping Pakistan win the ICC Champions Trophy in June, 2017. On the other hand, the much-talked about Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan was awarded the ‘Associate Cricketer of the Year’.
Smith posted six centuries in just 11 Tests in 2017; three on Australia’s tour of India and three in the recently-completed Magellan Ashes series.
In an exclusive interview with Cricket Australia last year, Steve Smith said that two of his centuries from that year were among the three best of his career – against India in Pune, and England in Brisbane.
Smith named Test Cricketer of the Year for second time
Speaking after he was named the Test Cricketer of the Year at ICC’s annual award function, Steve Smith said in a statement,
“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.”
Virat Kohli earned Cricketer of the Year award
What is noteworthy here, is the fact that it is the first time since 2011, that the winner of the Test Player of the Year is not also named the Cricketer of the Year.
In Tests in 2017, Virat Kohli was the fourth-highest run-scorer. However, the Indian skipper has had an excellent year in ODI cricket. He scored total 1,460 runs at an average of 76, which was the main factor why he won the top award – Cricketer of the Year.
2017 ICC AWARD WINNERS
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli (India)
ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year – Virat Kohli (India)
ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Year – Steve Smith (Australia)
ICC Men’s Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Hasan Ali (Pakistan)
ICC Men’s Associate Cricketer of the Year – Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
ICC 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)
ICC Fans Moment of the Year – Pakistan stun India to win the ICC Champions Trophy 2017