Indian opener Rohit Sharma was named ICC’s ‘2019 ODI Cricketer of the Year’ while England all-rounder Ben Stokes walked away with the ICC Player of the year award. Indian skipper Virat Kohli was named as the captain of both ICC’s Test and ODI teams and also won the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ award for his gesture to stop the fans from booing Steve Smith.
Here’s what each said about their awards.
“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 achieved our objective of lifting a major trophy.
“There is an incredible bond between teammates 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.
“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.”
“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.
“Also, that should not be a representation of our fans and what we stand as a cricketing nation, a sporting nation. We need to all take responsibility towards that. Intimidate the opposition, definitely try and have an upper hand but in a matter that is not targeting someone emotionally. That is not acceptable at any level and people should be wary of that.”
“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.”