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Stokes leads the way at the ICC Awards
Ben Stokes led the way at the ICC Awards ceremony, winning the Sir Garfield Sobers award for the 'Cricketer of the year'. Stokes, the unanimous choice, had an unforgettable 2019, anchoring a successful World Cup final chase through to the super-over and leading a breathtaking fourth-innings run-chase at Leeds among several others.
Pat Cummins was the run-away choice for the Test Cricketer of the year, picking up an unprecedented 59 wickets in 23 innings, with a gulf of 14 wickets between him and the runner-up on the Test wickets chart, Nathan Lyon (45 wickets in 23 innings).
Rohit Sharma was the indisputable ODI cricketer of the year, scoring 7 ODI hundreds, including an unprecedented five in the 2019 World Cup. The aggressive Indian opener redefined consistency in his pet format in 2019, scoring 648 runs in the World Cup, falling just 25 runs short of Sachin Tendulkar's long-standing record for most runs in a single World Cup (673 runs in 2003). Overall, Sharma scored 1490 runs in 28 matches at an average of 57.30 in the 2019 calendar year (in ODIs).
Marnus Labuschagne won the award for the emerging cricketer of the year, after he replaced Steven Smith as a concussion substitute and warranted a spot of his own in the Australian Test batting line-up, ending the calendar year at the top of the run-charts. Labuschagne played just ten Test matches and scored an astonishing 1022 runs at an average of 68.13.
Virat Kohli's gesture in the league game against Australia in the 2019 World Cup won him the 'ICC Spirit of Cricket award'. During the Indian innings of the match in question, a section of the crowd was audibly hostile towards Steven Smith, presumably with regard to the Newlands ball-tampering saga. However, a gesture from Kohli towards the section of the crowd, egging them on to cheer for Smith was caught on the cameras and he was universally lauded for opposing the crowd's behaviour.
ICC also announced their Test and ODI XIs of the year. Virat Kohli, who had a successful year as a captain, has been hypothetically elected to lead the side in both formats.
Other awards included that of the best umpire, which was taken by Richard Illingworth, the best associate cricketer, won by Kylie Coetzer of Scotland (averaging 48.88 in ODIs and leading Scotland to the T20 World Cup qualification).
Deepak Chahar's spell of 3.2-0-7-6 against Bangladesh ran away with the 'T20I performance of the year' award, as the young Indian pacer picked up a hat-trick and broke the record for the best bowling figures in the format.
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