DUBAI: England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been voted as the ICC player-of-the-year and won the Sir Garfield Trophy for his superb 12 months in both Test matches and One-day Internationals.
Stokes was instrumental in England’s nerve-wracking victory in the final of the World Cup when he smashed an unbeaten 84. He scored 719 runs and took 12 wickets in 20 ODIs during the voting period.
Stokes, the left-handed batsman who bowls right-arm medium pace, made 821 runs and bagged 22 wickets in 11 Test matches that included an unbeaten 135 to clinch a nail-biting Ashes thriller at Headingley last year.
“The last 12 months have been the best in my career, and I believe what we attained will be the catalyst to achieve further success over the next few years,” the 28-year-old Stokes said in an ICC statement. “There is an incredible bond between team-mates and to savour our achievements, whether that’s winning the World Cup final at Lord’s or digging deep to win a Test match against Australia at Headingley. It is satisfying you can accomplish these superb highs together.”
Fast bowler Pat Cummins of Australia was named Test player-of-the-year while Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma won the ODI player of the year award. Sharma has been in top form with an aggregate of 1409 runs from 28 matches that featured seven hundreds.
Cummins grabbed 59 wickets in 12 Tests and finished the year as the top-ranked bowler in the ICC Test rankings.
Indian seamer Deepak Chahar won the Twenty20 performance-of-the-year award for his astonishing figures of 6-7 against Bangladesh in Nagpur which included a hat-trick.
“That performance was very special for me. I got an opportunity to play for India after a long time. Taking six wickets conceding only seven runs was a dream performance for me and will always remain close to my heart,” Chahar said.
Marnus Labuschagne was a clear favourite to win emerging player-of-the-year award after scoring 1,104 runs in 11 Tests. He was ranked at 110 in the ICC batting rankings at the start of the year but leaped to fourth place by the end 2019.
India captain Virat Kohli won spirit of the cricket award for his gesture during the World Cup match against Australia. Kohli egged the crowd to support Steve Smith rather than boo the Australian batsman soon after his return to international cricket from a one-year suspension. Kohli, who last year won three awards — player-of-the-year, Test player-of-the-year and ODI player-of-the-year, was also named captain of both ICC Test and ODI teams.
“I’m surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things,” Kohli said. “It is part of camaraderie that sportsmen must have with each other. That moment was purely understanding an individual’s situation. I don’t think a guy who is coming out of a situation like that needs to be taken advantage of. You can sledge, can have banter on the field, you say things to the opposition in wanting to beat them. But booing someone is not in the spirit of any sport, I don’t endorse it.”
England’s Richard Illingworth won his first umpire-of-the-year award — the David Shepherd Trophy — which is named after the late umpire from England.
ICC Test team-of-the-year: Mayank Agarwal (India), Tom Latham (New Zealand), Marnus Labuschagne (Australia), Virat Kohli (India, captain), Steve Smith (Australia), Ben Stokes (England), B.J. Watling (New Zealand), Pat Cummins (Australia), Mitchell Starc (Australia), Neil Wagner (New Zealand), Nathan Lyon (Australia).
ICC ODI team-of-the-year: Rohit Sharma (India), Shai Hope (West Indies), Kohli (captain), Babar Azam (Pakistan), Kane Williamson (New Zealand), Stokes, Jos Buttler (England), Starc, Trent Boult (New Zealand), Mohammed Shami (India), Kuldeep Yadav (India).
Published in Dawn, January 16th, 2020