Kohli first to sweep top three awards in cricket

India captain Virat Kohli holding the one-day international series trophy after defeating Australia in Melbourne earlier this month.
India captain Virat Kohli holding the one-day international series trophy after defeating Australia in Melbourne earlier this month.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI • India captain Virat Kohli declared he was "very, very happy" after becoming the first player to clinch the sport's top-three honours, including Cricketer of the Year, at the International Cricket Council (ICC) awards ceremony yesterday.

Kohli, who earlier this month led his country to its maiden Test and one-day series triumph in Australia, was also voted the Test and One-Day International (ODI) Men's Player of the Year as the governing body announced its annual honours, chosen by former players and veteran journalists.

"It feels amazing. It's a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year," he said.

"I feel really grateful with the team doing well at the same time (as) myself performing."

Kohli was also picked to skipper the ICC Test and ODI Teams of the Year for the second year running.

The 30-year-old, who is married to Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma, enjoys superstar status in cricket-mad India after first coming into the limelight when he led the national team to victory at the 2008 Under-19 World Cup.

He was the top Test and ODI batsman last year, scoring 1,322 Test runs at an average of 55.08 - including five centuries - and 1,202 runs at 133.55 in ODIs, with six centuries, while also scoring 211 runs in 10 Twenty20 matches.

Kohli had been the unanimous choice for Cricketer of the Year and is only the second player after Australian great Ricky Ponting (2006-07) to retain the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.

Calling him an "extraordinary talent", ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "This is (a) well-deserved recognition. His regard for the game and particularly for Test cricket is also recognised and appreciated.

"He is passionate in his support of the longest form of the game and its continued importance."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2019, with the headline 'Kohli first to sweep top three awards in cricket'. Print Edition | Subscribe