Euro 2020 Special

Virat Kohli To Ben Stokes: A Look At Past Five Winners Of The Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy

The International Cricket Council has announced its annual awards for 2022 last week with Babar Azam winning the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for the best performance in Men’s cricket across all formats of the game.

India’s Suryakumar Yadav has bagged the T20 Cricketer of the Year award for his stellar performances in the shortest format of the game, while England’s captain Ben Stokes has been awarded the Test Cricketer of the Year for bringing the revolutionary “Bazball” approach to the format.

The inaugural ICC Men’s Cricketer of the Year award, named after former West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers, was awarded to India’s coach Rahul Dravid in 2004. Since then, 16 players have received the prestigious award with just three players winning the award twice.

Here’s a look at the past five winners of the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy.


2016: Ravichandran Ashwin

Indian all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin received the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy in 2016 with the maestro also claiming the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year award.

During the period under consideration, Ravichandran Ashwin was regularly the top-ranked bowler in Test cricket. In eight Test fixtures that were played during the period, Ravichandran Ashwin took 48 wickets and scored 336 runs in the longest format of the game.

Ravichandran Ashwin further took 27 wickets in 19 T20Is, propelling him to become the third Indian player to receive the award after Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

Considered one of the best spinners to grace the game, Ravichandran Ashwin continues to be an integral part of India’s Test squad. He is currently ranked fourth in the bowler rankings in red-ball cricket and is the highest-ranked Test spinner in the world.

The Border-Gavaskar Trophy between India and Australia scheduled next month will allow Ravichandran Ashwin to further bolster his place in the team, with the 36-year-old expected to be the main bowling option for the Men in Blue on spin-friendly tracks.


2017 & 2018: Virat Kohli

India’s former captain Virat Kohli is one of the three players to win the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy twice, and the only player to do so in recent times.

The period between 2016 and 2018 was considered the peak of Virat Kohli’s careerwith India’s skipper rivalling the likes of Don Bradman in all formats of the game with his proficiency with the bat. The ICC has even awarded Virat Kohli the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for Male Cricketer of the Decade for his phenomenal form through those years.

During the period under consideration in 2017, Virat Kohli scored 2,203 runs in Tests, 1,818 runs in ODIs, and 299 T20I runs – with a record 15 centuries across all formats. Virat Kohli’s dominance was absolute in both Tests and ODIs, where he brushed away the challenge from the other players of the “Fab Four” while leading his team to the top of the rankings.

But Virat Kohli took his greatness to another level in 2018, becoming the first player in the history of the game to win all three prestigious ICC awards – the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year, and the ICC ODI Player of the Year award.

India’s skipper scored 1,322 runs at an average of 55.08 in 13 Tests with five centuries during the calendar year while in 14 ODIs he amassed 1202 runs at an extraordinary average of 133.55 with six centuries during the period.

While India’s captain suffered a slump in form in the next two years, his return to form ahead of the Border-Gavaskar series and the ICC ODI World Cup 2023 is an exciting prospect for fans and the team.


2019: Ben Stokes

England’s Test captain Ben Stokes first grabbed the world’s attention in 2019 when he produced two masterclass innings for his side in two different formats.

Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 135-run innings at Leeds led England to a memorable Ashes victory, with the performance considered one of the finest innings in the annals of Test cricket. Ben Stokes then led England to a thrilling victory in the finals of the ICC ODI World Cup 2019, where he shined with the bat for the Three Lions with an unbeaten 84-run inning.

Ben Stokes aggregated 719 runs and bagged 12 wickets in 20 ODIs during the period under consideration. He further scored 821 runs and took 22 wickets in 11 Tests, with most of them coming in the prestigious Ashes series.

His contributions to the revival of England in the sport continue to this day, with the 31-year-old bringing the “Bazball” approach to Test cricket that has the potential to redefine Test cricket.


2021: Shaheen Afridi

Shaheen Afridi became the first Pakistani player to receive the prestigious Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy with the 22-year-old bagging the award for his phenomenal bowling performance in 2021.

Shaheen Afridi claimed 47 wickets in nine Test matches at a staggering average of 17.06, singlehandedly reviving Pakistan’s fortunes in the longest format of the game in front of a home audience.

In the shortest format of the game, Shaheen Afridi made Pakistan the team to watch out for in the run-up to the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, taking 23 wickets in 21 matches.

At the World Cup, Shaheen Afridi impressed everyone with his speed and accuracy, famously taking the wickets of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma in the high-stakes encounter between India and Pakistan.

With Babar Azam winning the award this year, two Pakistani players have now won the prestigious award back-to-back.




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