ESPN today announced the winners of the ESPNcricinfo Awards for 2017. Indian players grabbed three out of 12 awards, the most by any nation.
Indian allrounder Harmanpreet Kaur clinched the Women’s Batting Performance of the Year for her undefeated, career-best 171 not out against Australia, which catalyzed a change in the perception of women’s cricket in India. Yuzvendra Chahal, the right-arm legbreak bowler, took home the T20 Bowling Performance of the Year award for his magical 6 for 25 in the 3rd T20 against England in Bengaluru. Kuldeep Yadav, who came into the limelight for his performance in the Dharamsala Test against Australia and is now an integral part of the national team, was declared Debutant of the Year for his 43 wickets across three formats in 2017.
This is the second consecutive year that ESPNcricinfo has had awards for batting and bowling in women’s cricket across all three international formats.
Coincidentally, the Captain of the Year award went to a female player for the first time in the history of the awards. Heather Knight won the title for her leadership in guiding England to wins in nine of 12 ODIs, including the World Cup title. Knight’s team-mate Anya Shrubsole won the Women’s Bowling Performance of the Year for her 6 for 46 in the World Cup final against India.
“Every year, the ESPNcricinfo Awards celebrate historic moments and honour inspirational talent and performances. Heather Knight, Harmanpreet Kaur and Anya Shrubsole’s exemplary performances are a testimony to the growing power of women’s cricket across the world”, said Sambit Bal, editor-in-chief of ESPNcricinfo and ESPN South Asia.
Australia’s Steven Smith had a year of stellar performances. His 109 runs versus India that led to his team’s win in the first Border-Gavaskar Test against India, in Pune, was voted the Test Batting Performance of the Year. His team-mate Nathan Lyon had the best Test figures by a touring bowler in India, with a haul of 8 for 50 against India in the 2nd Test, in Bengaluru. This performance won him the Test Bowling Performance of the Year award. Evin Lewis picked up the T20I Batting Performance of the Year award for his 125 not out against India in Kingston, which powered West Indies through to a nine-wicket win.
Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir together led Pakistan to victory in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, and they were awarded the ODI Batting Performance of the Year and Bowling Performance of the Year respectively. Newbie opener Zaman scored his maiden hundred, and Amir took the wickets of India’s top three for 16 runs, setting up a historic win for Pakistan.
Sambit Bal added, “2017 was a spectacular year for cricket across the world, not just for the players, but also for its fans, who were given greater reasons to cherish and dream. We are delighted to introduce winners who will forever remain entwined in the history of cricket.”
The winners were selected by an 18-member independent jury, including former cricket giants – among them Ian Chappell, Ramiz Raja, Courtney Walsh, Mark Butcher, Daryll Cullinan, Russel Arnold and Simon Taufel – and ESPNcricinfo’s senior editors, writers and global correspondents.
Fans can watch the award show on February 19, 2018 on Sony Six at 10pm IST and www.espncricinfo.com and www.ESPN.in at 12pm IST.
Details of nominees and winners can be accessed at http://www.espncricinfo.com/awards2017
The complete list of award winners for 2017 is as follows.
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