International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced the ICC player of the decade awards. After announcing the ICC Test team of the decade, ODI team of the decade and the T20I team of the decade, they have announced the ICC Test Player of the decade, ICC ODI player of the decade, ICC player of the decade and the ICC T20I player of the decade. he winners of the prestigious ICC Awards of the Decade including the Rachel Heyhoe-Flint for Best Female Player and Sir Garfield Sobers for Best Male Player, were announced simultaneously across all ICC Digital channels, as well as the Star Sports Network, on Monday, December 28.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Ellyse Perry bagged top awards – Cricketers of the Decade, with Kohli adding ODI cricketer of the decade, while Perry clean swept the women’s awards with the ODI and T20I cricketer of the decade awards. Steve Smith won the Test cricketer of the decade award while Rashid Khan was named T20I cricket of the decade. MS Dhoni won the spirit of the game award. Kohli was the only player with 10,000-plus ODI runs in the ICC Awards period with 39 centuries, 48 fifties at 61.83 average. He also claimed 112 catches. “My only intention was to make winning contributions for the team and I just strive to do that in every game. Stats just become the byproduct of what you want to do on the field,” said Kohli on winning the award. ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade award went to Australian batsman Steve Smith for his stupendous exploits in the longest format of the game. During the ICC Awards period, Smith scored 7040 runs at an impressive average of 65.79. He also scored 26 tons and 26 half-centuries. “STEVE SMITH is the ICC Men’s Test Cricketer of the Decade, 7040 Test runs in the #ICCAwards period, 65.79 average Highest in top 50, 26 hundreds, 28 fifties, Unique, relentless and unbelievably consistent.” ICC said in a Twitter post.
ICC decided to name Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan as men’s T20I cricketer of the decade. Rashid’s name has risen in T20 cricket with him being the first name on the team sheet in most of the tournaments he has played in. In the ICC Awards period, Rashid picked up 89 wickets at an average of 12.62. This is just international cricket and if we take his exploits in franchise cricket then the figures would become more impressive. The winners of all the individual awards will receive a unique artwork created in a collaboration between the ICC, Mumbai-based studio Kulture Shop and Indian artist Pratap Chalke. The Rachel Heyhoe-Flint and Sir Garfield Sobers winners get a spectacular hand-painted artwork bat, while the other individual award winners will receive a limited-edition canvas painting that captures their unique passion and spirit. “We wanted to present the winners with truly memorable awards that captured the personality of these icons of the game. It’s been fantastic to work with Chalke and the team at Kulture Shop to bring this vision to life in such a bold, impactful way,” said Finn Bradshaw, Head of Digital at the ICC.