Virat Kohli has become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018.
Not only is Kohli the first player to win these three major ICC awards together but he has also been named the captain of the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year for a fabulous run in international cricket. Kohli scored 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five hundreds during the calendar year while in 14 ODIs he amassed 1202 runs at an astonishing average of 133.55 with six centuries. He also scored 211 runs in 10 T20Is.
The 30-year-old from Delhi, who first came into limelight when he led India to victory at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in Malaysia in 2008, finished the year as the top-ranked batsman in Tests and ODIs. The highest scorer in both forms of the game in 2018, he was one of only two batsmen to score more than 1,000 runs in Tests and only among three to do so in ODI cricket.
Kohli was the unanimous choice of the Voting Academy* for the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy with South Africa fast bowler Kagiso Rabada coming in second to him for both this award and the ICC Test Player of the Year award. Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan was runner up to Kohli for the ICC ODI Player of the Year award.
Kohli said: “It feels amazing. It’s a reward for all the hard work that you do throughout the calendar year. I feel really grateful and very, very happy with the team doing well at the same time myself performing. Having recognition at the global level from the ICC is something you feel proud of as a cricketer because you understand that there are many players playing the game.
“To be rewarded in this manner from amongst all of them is obviously a very proud moment for me and something that gives you more motivation to keep repeating the same things because you have to keep the standard of cricket up and keep bringing in consistent performances. From that point of view, these awards give you that extra motivation.”
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson praised Kohli: “Sincere congratulations to every one of our individual winners and those players named in our ICC Test and ODI teams of the year. Special mention must go to Virat Kohli, who becomes the first ever player to win the Sir Garfield Sobers award along with Test Player of the Year and ODI Player of the Year and be named as captain of both teams.
“This is well deserved recognition for an extraordinary talent. His regard for the game and particularly for Test cricket is also recognized and appreciated. He is passionate in his support of the longest form of the game and its continued importance. To be recognized as a true cricketing great you need to be successful at all formats of the game and Virat has become a great ambassador for our sport.”
Kohli had won the Sir Garfield Trophy and ICC ODI Player of the Year awards last year and was also the ICC ODI Player of the Year in 2012.
*The voting academy was: Javed Hamid Kakar, Emal Pasarly (Afghanistan); Lisa Sthalekar, Andrew Wu, Mike Hussey (Australia) Utpal Shuvro, M. Farid Ahmed, Athar Ali Khan (Bangladesh); Julian Guyer, Lawrence Booth, Nasser Hussain (England); Deep Dasgupta, Sunandan Lele, Jasvinder Sidhu (India); Ian Callendar, Barry Chambers (Ireland); Mark Geenty, Ian Smith (New Zealand); Peter Borren (Netherlands); Ramiz Raja, Abdul Mohi Shah, Mazhar Arshad, Bazid Khan (Pakistan); Shaun Pollock, Neil Manthorp, Firdose Moonda (South Africa); Saroj Pathirana, Russel Arnold, Rex Clementine (Sri Lanka); Peter Della Penna (USA), Ian Bishop, Barry Wilkinson, Vinode Mamchan (West Indies); Trisan Holme, Mehluli Sibanda, Mpumelelo Mbangwa (Zimbabwe).