England’s World Cup and Ashes hero Ben Stokes won the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Player of the Year after a remarkable 12 months that saw him play a decisive role in England’s dramatic victory at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 along with a host of other memorable performances during the Ashes series against Australia last year.
Australia fast bowler Pat Cummins won the Test Player of the Year award while Indian run-machine Rohit Sharma was declared the ODI Player of the Year in other major men’s ICC awards announced on Wednesday. India bowler Deepak Chahar won T20I Performance of the Year, while Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne was named as Emerging Cricketer of the Year. Chahar’s spell of six for seven against Bangladesh in Nagpur this year was the best ever bowling performance in the history of T20 International.
Rohit Sharma scored 1409 runs from 28 matches with seven hundreds that earned him the award for ODIs.
Pat Cummins, who grabbed 59 wickets in 12 Test matches during the period and finished the year as the top-ranked bowler in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Player Rankings, won the award staving off stiff competition including from compatriots Smith and Labuschagne.
India captain Virat Kohli, who had swept the Player of the Year, Test Player of the Year and ODI Player of the Year last year, has won the Spirit of Cricket Award. He won the award for his gesture at the World Cup, when he egged the crowd on to support Steve Smith rather than booing him soon after his return to international cricket from a one-year suspension for changing the condition of the ball. Kohli has also been named captain of both the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year.
Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer was named the Associate Cricketer of the Year.
England umpire Richard Illingworth became the seventh person to win the David Shepherd Trophy for Umpire of the Year. This is the first time that the 56-year-old has won the award named after the late umpire from England.
Rohit said about being named the ODI cricketer of the year, “I would like to thank the ICC for giving me this award and the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to represent the country. It is great to be recognised in this fashion. We are very happy with the way we performed as a team in 2019. We could have done better but we have a lot of positives and a lot to look forward to in 2020.”
Reacting to his ICC honour, Stokes said, “It is quite flattering to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year. The past 12 months have been incredible for England cricket and to lift the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup for the first time was our greatest achievement.
“This award is testament to my teammates and the support staff that have been there every step of the way. Fundamentally, without the support of these individuals, we would never achieve our objective of lifting a major trophy.”
Kohli said that he was surprised on winning the ICC award. He said, “I’m surprised that I have got it, after many years of being under the scanner for the wrong things. 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 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.”
ICC Men’s Cricket Awards
Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Best Cricketer of the Year – Ben Stokes (England)
Test Cricketer of the Year – Pat Cummins (Australia)
ODI Cricketer of the Year – Rohit Sharma (India)
T20I Performance of the Year – Deepak Chahar (India, 6-7 v Bangladesh)
Emerging Cricketer of the Year – Marnus Labuschagne (Australia)
Associate Cricketer of the Year – Kyle Coetzer (Scotland)
Spirit of Cricket Award – Virat Kohli stopping the fans booing Steve Smith at the Oval
David Shepherd Trophy for Umpire of the Year – Richard Illingworth
ICC Test Team of the Year (in batting order): Mayank Agarwal, Tom Latham, Marnus Labuschagne, Virat Kohli (captain), Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Neil Wagner, Nathan Lyon.
ICC ODI Team of the Year (in batting order): Rohit Sharma, Shai Hope, Virat Kohli (captain), Babar Azam, Kane Williamson, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Starc, Trent Boult, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav