India captain Virat Kohli will receive the BCCI’s Polly Umrigar award – honouring the best international cricketer – for the fifth time in his career following his consistent performance over the past two seasons.
Also, for the first time ever, the BCCI will recognise the top international women players of the year, at their awards function on June 12 in Bengaluru. Harmanpreet Kaur wins it for 2016-17 and Smriti Mandhana for 2017-18.
The current No.1 ODI batsman in the world, Kohli has been in phenomenal form for the past three years, amassing 2757 runs at an average of 91.90. He also became the first batsman to score four double-centuries in consecutive Test series during this period. The 29-year old went past 5000 runs with his 20th Test ton during the series against Sri Lanka in December 2017. Under Kohli in the last three years, India equalled Australia’s record of nine consecutive series wins in Tests. They are also ranked No. 1 in Test cricket.
Harmanpreet has been equally prolific in women’s cricket. She played significant roles in India’s campaigns at the women’s World T20 in 2016 and the Asia Cup win in 2017, but her crowning achievement remains the unbeaten 171 she made against Australia in the World Cup semi-final. It was the second-highest score by an Indian in women’s ODIs and it helped her break into the top-10 ODI rankings for batsmen.
Mandhana began the 2017 World Cup with a 90 against England and then struck her second ODI hundred in the series against West Indies. In March 2018, she scored the fastest fifty for India in a T20I, off only 30 balls. She was also named the Player of the Series when India hostedEngland in April.