BCCI Awards 2017-18: Virat Kohli Wins The Polly Umrigar Award

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India's batsman Virat Kohli runs between the wickets during the first T20I cricket match between South Africa and India at The Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Johannesburg on February 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Christiaan Kotze (Photo credit should read CHRISTIAAN KOTZE/AFP/Getty Images)

BCCI Awards 2017-18: Virat Kohli Wins Polly Umrigar Award

It is awards season across the cricketing world. Kagiso Rabada dominated the South African awards ceremony a few days ago as he picked up four awards. These included SA Cricketer of the Year, ODI Player of the Year and Test player of the Year. Now the BCCI have announced the winners of their awards and Virat Kohli once again picked up the top honours. This year was special as the BCCI gave out their first awards to female cricketers, giving Smriti Mandhana the award of “Best International Cricketer – Women”. India are preparing to take on Afghanistan in a historic Test match in a week’s time and then they will head to England to begin their long tour.

Virat Kohli Wins Polly Umrigar Award

After another sensational year, Virat Kohli will be given the Polly Umrigar award at the BCCI’s function on 12th June. Polly Umrigar was a former Indian Test captain who led the national side in eight Test matches between 1955 and 1958. Umrigar was a middle-order batsman who averaged 42 in Tests and over 50 in First-Class cricket. Every year since 2006-07, the BCCI have presented the best Indian cricketer of the year with an award in his name. Virat Kohli won the accolade this year along with a cheque worth 15 lakh rupees.

Kohli has had a phenomenal few years, in which he has become the world’s number one ODI batsman and has taken India to the top of the Test rankings. He hit a double hundred in four consecutive series as he finished as one of the highest Test run scorers in 2017. Kohli has a big summer ahead of him as India prepare to travel to England, where they will be playing three T20Is, three ODIs and five Tests. Kohli had originally planned a stint at Surrey before the series, but was ruled out by injury. This will not impact his involvement in the international tour though.

Smriti Mandhana And Harmanpreet Kaur Make History

For the first time in the BCCI’s history, they handed out awards for the best women’s cricketer. The 21 year old Smriti Mandhana won the award for the 2017-18 season, while Harmanpreet Kaur was given it retrospectively for the 2016-17 season. Mandhana has won the hearts of many Indian fans and has produced some enthralling batting performances over the past year. In particular, she tore apart England’s bowling attack in three ODI’s as she hit 86, 42, 53* in consecutive matches.
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India’s women’s team is currently playing in the Women’s Asia Cup. At the time of writing, India are currently top of the groups, with six points from four games. They are level on points with Pakistan but ahead on net run rate. Their next match is against Pakistan on the 9th June.

The Other Winners

As well as acknowledging the top international performers, the BCCI also awarded players for their domestic performances. Jalaj Saxena stood out in particular, as he claimed the awards of the highest wicket taker in the Ranji Trophy, as well as being the best all-rounder in the same competition. The full awards list can be seen below:

Virat Kohli Polly Umrigar award
Smriti Mandhana Best international cricketer – women
Anshuman Gaekwad Col. CK Nayudu lifetime achievement award
Sudha Shah BCCI lifetime achievement award for women
Budhi Kunderan BCCI special award
Deepti Sharma Jagmohan Dalmiya award for best domestic senior women’s cricketer
Jemimah Rodrigues Jagmohan Dalmiya award for best domestic junior women’s cricketer
Mayank Agarwal Madhavrao Scindia award for the highest run-scorer in Ranji Trophy
Jalaj Saxena Madhavrao Scindia award for the highest wicket-taker in Ranji Trophy
Jalaj Saxena Lala Amarnath award for best allrounder in Ranji Trophy
Diwesh Pathania Lala Amarnath award for best allrounder in domestic limited-overs

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