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Exceptional Virat Kohli named ICC Cricketer of the Year

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Dubai:In phenomenal form across formats, Indian captain Virat Kohli was on Thursday named the world cricketer of the year, besides bagging the top honour for ODI players in the ICC annual awards, announced here.

In the qualification period from September 21, 2016 to the end of 2017, Kohli scored 2,203 Test runs at an average of 77.8 including eight centuries, 1,818 ODI runs, including seven centuries at 82.63, and 299 T20I runs at a strike rate of 153.

He also captained India to the top of the ICC Test rankings.

 

“It means a lot to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for becoming the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2017 and also the ICC ODI Player of the Year,” Kohli was quoted as saying in an ICC statement.

“I won that back in 2012 also but it’s the first time winning the Garfield Sobers Trophy, and it’s a huge honour for me.

It’s probably the biggest of all in world cricket and two Indians getting it back-to-back makes it special,” he added.

This is the second time in succession that an Indian won the overall cricketer of the year award. Off-spinner R Ashwin had claimed the honour last year.

It was Kohli’s second gong at the 2017 ICC Awards, with the 29-year-old also being named the ODI Player of the Year.

Kohli was also named captain of the ICC Test and ODI teams of the year.

Australian captain Steve Smith claimed the Test Player of the Year honour after scoring 1,875 runs in 16 matches at an average of 78.12, with eight hundreds and five 50s.

This is the first instance since 2013 that the ODI Cricketer of the Year award has been won by a non-South African, with Quinton de Kock receiving the accolade for 2016 and AB de Villiers winning it in 2014 and 2015.

In the nominations for ODIs, Kohli was placed nominated alongside Pakistan paceman Hasan Ali, Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan and his own teammate Rohit Sharma.

Smith, meanwhile, averages 63.75 from 61 Tests, the second-best average of all time for those who have played more than 20 Tests.

In the ICC rankings he has climbed to 947 points, just 14 shy of Don Bradman’s high watermark of 961.

Smith beat off competition from last year’s winner Ashwin, who took 111 wickets at 25.87, Cheteshwar Pujara, who scored 1,914 runs, Kohli, and Ben Stokes, who hit 1,000 runs at 40 and took 35 wickets at 27.68.

Among other awards, Yuzvendra Chahal’s incredible haul of 6/25 against England in Bengaluru last year, was named as Twenty20 International performance of the year.

Chahal was named Player of the Match and Player of the Series for his performance–the best by an Indian bowler in T20I history, and the third-best of all time.

He is behind only Sri Lanka’s Ajantha Mendis, who took 6/8 and 6/16 against Zimbabwe and Australia, respectively.
Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan was adjudged ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year after taking 60 wickets in 2017–a record for an associate player in a calendar year–and 43 in ODIs, also a record.


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TRAU FC qualify for I-League, beat Ozone FC to win second division league

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NEW DELHI: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) lauded Manipur club Tiddim Road Athletic Union FC for winning the Hero 2nd Division League 2018-19, and qualifying to the next edition of Hero I-League.

They are the second club from the state after NEROCA FC, to have qualified for the Hero I-League from the second tier in three years.

TRAU FC defeated Ozone FC 2-1 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal to clinch the championship with one match left. The Manipuri side has amassed 15 points from five matches (so far), whereas second-placed Chhinga Veng FC are on 10 points having played an equal number of matches.

 

Sunando Dhar, CEO, I-League said: “Congratulations TRAU FC for the achievement. I’m sure the Hero I-League will be more competitive and challenging next season with their inclusion. I wish them all the best for the next endeavour.”

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I want more responsibility at PSG or elsewhere: Mbappe

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London: Paris Saint-Germain forward Kylian Mbappe has thrown his future at the club into doubt by claiming he has reached what he sees as a “turning point” in his career.

Speaking after accepting the Ligue 1 Player of the Year Award this evening, the 20-year-old French international suggested he would like a bigger role going forward after claiming the Ligue 1 title with PSG this season.

However, Mbappe said that role could come either at PSG or “maybe somewhere else”, casting his future into doubt while hinting that he could leave the club in search of a new challenge.

 

“Of course there were some disappointments [this season] but it’s part of football, we managed to win this league,” he said after accepting the award on Sunday.

“I would like to thank the players, the coach, the club again. It’s important for me because I come to a first or a second turning point in my career.

“I discovered a lot of things here. I feel it’s time to have more responsibility. I hope it may be Paris Saint-Germain, it will be with great pleasure, or it may be elsewhere for a new project, but I would like to say thank you.

Mbappe went on to clarify his comments when asked if he was saying that he wasn’t guaranteed to stay at PSG next season.

“I said what I had to say. When you are in such an occasion you can send messages, I think I have sent mine,” he said.

“If I speak more it will be too much and that is not the message I wish to send.”

Mbappe joined PSG in 2017 from Monaco, having won the league the season prior.

Since joining the club, Mbappe has won the league twice while also claiming a Coupe de France and a Coupe de la Ligue title.

Mbappe, who was a part of France’s World Cup-winning team in 2018, has scored 59 goals in 86 matches for the club while leading the league in scoring this campaign with 32 goals in Ligue 1 play and a total of 38 in all competitions.

Those achievements helped him claim the Ligue 1 Player of the Year award as well as the Young Player of the Year award.

“This is the only trophy I missed,” he said.

“I would first like to dedicate it to the president, Nasser [Al-Khelaifi], who is watching us, I know he had a tragedy this year so I would like to pay tribute to him, he has always been an honest man with me from the first day until today.

“I would also like to thank all the people who are here. It is the fourth year that I am here in this league.

“I have lived a lot many things that are rich in emotion: AS Monaco, where I was trained, where we managed to win the title, then Paris Saint-Germain for a totally different project, where I managed to adapt from the first year, to change positions this year.”

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Asif Ali’s daughter loses battle with cancer

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Islamabad: Pakistan batsman Asif Ali’s daughter, who suffered from stage four cancer, died in a hospital in the United States , Pakistan Super League (PSL) side Islamabad United has said.

Ali is currently on tour with the Pakistan national team in England and played in the 54-run defeat by the hosts in their final one-day international of the series.

“ISLU family pays its deepest condolences to @AasifAli2018 on the tragic loss of his daughter. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Asif & his family,” the PSL franchise said on Twitter on Monday.

 

“Asif is a great example of strength & courage. He is an inspiration to us.”

Dean Jones, who coached Islamabad to the PSL title last year, also sent his condolences to the cricketer’s family. “On behalf of my family and the @IsbUnited players and families… we send our condolences and love to @AasifAli2018 and his family on the passing of his beautiful daughter,” Jones said on Twitter.

Jones had broken down in tears at a media conference in March when talking about Ali and his daughter’s condition.

The 27-year-old Ali was not named in Pakistan’s World Cup squad but made the 17-man group for the series in England where the middle-order batsman hit two half-centuries in four innings.

Former captain and chairman of Pakistan’s selection committee Inzamam-ul-Haq said last month that Ali could be drafted into the side before the World Cup.

Teams have until May 23 to submit their final squads for the tournament which begins on May 30. Pakistan’s first game is against West Indies on May 31.

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