Indian batsman Virat Kohli was named ODI Cricketer of the Year at the International Cricket Council awards here on Saturday. During the performance period, he played 31 ODIs and compiled 1,733 runs at an average of 66.65, including eight centuries and six half-centuries. His highest score, 183, came against Pakistan in the Asia Cup in March.
Performances over a 12-month period that ended on August 6, 2012 were taken into account. The independent voting academy of 32 highly rated cricket experts put Kohli first, ahead of talented and in-form players as Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Lasith Malinga as well as Kohli’s India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Kohli said after receiving the honour: “I think I have tried to keep things as simple as possible and it has worked for me on the field. This year has been a learning curve along the way from the seniors in the team. It’s been an all-round effort and I’m very happy to have won this award.”
Asked about what inspires him the most, the 23-year-old Delhi lad said: “Inspiration is playing for the country. I take the motivation and inspiration to the field.” Meanwhile, prolific Sri Lankan batsman Sangakkara stole the show with a hat-trick of ICC awards.
The 34-year-old batsman-wicketkeeper received the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for being named Cricketer of the Year. He also won the Test Cricketer of the Year and People’s Choice awards.
Sangakkara scored 1,444 runs with five centuries in 14 Tests and 1,457 runs in 37 one-day internationals with three hundreds during the year.
The Sri Lankan fought off stiff competition from South Africans Hashim Amla and Vernon Philander, and Australian Michael Clarke to win the trophy.
“This is an amazing honour. I’ve seen the people who have won it before me and the nominees too... to be named alongside them is wonderful,” said Sangakkara.
“I admire them greatly and even more so when I looked up at their records on the screen this evening. It’s great to be amongst them, but now, to receive this honour this evening, is simply fantastic.”
West Indies spinner Sunil Narine, 24, won the Emerging Cricketer of the Year award for taking 12 wickets in three Tests and 28 in 15 one-day internationals. Ireland’s spinner George Dockrell was named Associate and Affiliate Cricketer of the Year ahead of teammates Kevin O’Brien, Ed Joyce and Paul Stirling, and Afghanistan’s Dawlat Zadran.
South African Richard Levi’s unbeaten 117 off 51 balls against New Zealand was judged the Best Performance in Twenty20 Internationals. Levi later played for Mumbai Indians in the IPL.
>>Cricketer of the year: Kumar Sangakkara (SL)
>> Test cricketer: Kumar Sangakkara
>> ODI cricketer: Virat Kohli
>> Women’s ODI cricketer: Stafanie Taylor (WI)
>> Emerging cricketer: Sunil Narine (WI)
>> Associate and Affiliate cricketer: George Dockrell (IRL)
>> T20 international performance of the year: Richard Levi (RSA) for his 117 not out off 51 vs NZ
>> Women’s T20 cricketer: Sarah Taylor (ENG)
>> Umpire of the year: Kumar Dharmasena (SL)
>> Spirit of cricket award: Daniel Vettori (NZ)
>> People’s choice award: Kumar Sangakkara (SRI)
>> ICC Test team: Alastair Cook (ENG), Hashim Amla (RSA), Kumar Sangakkara (SRI), Jacques Kallis (RSA), Michael Clarke (AUS - capt), Shivnarine Chanderpaul (WIS), Matt Prior (ENG - wk), Stuart Broad (ENG), Saeed Ajmal (PAK), Vernon Philander (RSA), Dale Steyn (RSA). 12th man: AB de Villiers
>> ICC ODI team: Gautam Gambhir, Alastair Cook (ENG), Kumar Sangakkara (SRI), Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (wk/captain), Michael Clarke (AUS), Shahid Afridi (PAK), Morne Morkel (RSA), Steven Finn (ENG), Lasith Malinga (SRI), Saeed Ajmal (PAK). 12th man: Shane Watson