India’s Rishabh Pant on Tuesday was named the ICC emerging player of the year. The 21-year-old Pant became the first Indian wicketkeeper to score a Test century in England and equalled the record for the most catches taken in a Test, with 11 in Adelaide against Australia in December.
Australia opener Aaron Finch won the Twenty20 performance of the year award for the second time for his 172 – the highest ever individual T20I score – against Zimbabwe in Harare last July.
Scotland batsman Callum MacLeod was awarded the associate cricketer of the year trophy. MacLeod hammered 140 in country’s first-ever ODI win over England.
The year 2018 in Associate cricket belonged to Scotland whose stunning six-wicket victory over England in June cemented the biggest win in their history. Other highlights also included a very impressive campaign at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (CWCQ), narrowly missing out on qualification as well as winning the Euro T20 series against Netherlands and Ireland without losing a match.
MacLeod’s imperious 157 not against Afghanistan at Bulawayo at the CWCQ and his match-winning 140 not out against England were two of international cricket’s most impressive batting displays of the year. The ICC Voting Academy clearly agreed with MacLeod receiving the second highest number of votes across all the individual awards.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson won the ICC Spirit of Cricket award, while Kumar Dharmasena received ICC Umpire of the Year 2018, winning the prestigious David Shepherd Trophy.
Australia’s limited overs skipper Finch said, “It was just one of those days that things seemed to go my way, so it was nice to break my own record and get a 172. After I got a hundred and I started to middle consistently, that is when I knew it was going to be a big one. It all happened pretty quick,” while remembering his knock.
The Kiwi captain highlighted the importance of playing the game in the right spirit. Reacting to the recognition Williamson said, “We are all ambassadors of this game, so playing in the right spirit, those sorts of characteristics are really important even at the highest level. It is a nice award. It is important for us as a group that we keep looking to do better in all areas, and one of those areas is to continue playing the game in the right way, as how we see it being right.”
Humble and hardworking, Kane Williamson, winner of the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award, has made his mark as a brilliant cricketer and a better man.
➡️ https://t.co/0p4pYshnee#ICCAwards 🏆 pic.twitter.com/BALLNKLv4M
— ICC (@ICC) January 22, 2019
Dharmasena hoped this award would inspire other Sri Lanka officials, “It has been a very satisfying year for me and this award from the ICC is a great honour and privilege. This comes six years after I was first named for the award and will inspire me to keep doing the job I love so much. I have always been passionate about cricket, both as a player and an umpire and look forward to keep working hard and challenging myself in order to meet the demands of this great game.”
With inputs from ICC