Classy India middle order batsman and Rajasthan Royals opener in the IPL Ajinkya Rahane won the CEAT Indian Cricketer of the Year award while former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara clinched the International Cricketer of the Year honour at a ceremony .
Former India captain and iconic all- rounder Kapil Dev, who led the country to the first of two World Cup titles in 1983, was conferred with the International Lifetime Achievement Award at the 19th edition of the awards. Rohit Sharma, who led Mumbai Indians to their second title when they outclassed Chennai Super Kings in a one-sided final at the Eden Gardens, was given a special award for his record-breaking 264 made against Sri Lanka in an ODI at Kolkata.
It was also Sharma’s second double century in the 50-over internationals, the only batsman to have achieved this feat. The awards honour the best of the cricketers based on their performances in international cricketing in all formats — Test, ODI and T20 – as rated by the CEAT Cricket ratings (CCR) for the year 2014 – 2015.
Rahane, who was in fine fettle in the last two overseas visits, said the century he made for a winning cause at the fabled Lord’s ground in England was “special”. “I enjoyed playing in both Australia and England. I got to mention one innings, the 103 I scored at Lord’s and winning is really important for me. So scoring a hundred and winning a Test match is really special,” he said after receiving the award from former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar.
“I really enjoyed my batting throughout the season. The four months we spent in Australia gave me confidence to play well in IPL,” he said about his fine run in the T20 tournament that ended recently. “So far, I have enjoyed my journey and learned from my experience of 14 Tests. As long as I am performing well and contributing towards my team, the number does not matter for me. Whatever number I bat, I look to contribute for my team and maintain the consistency,” he added. Rohit Sharma, while expressing happiness over MI’s title triumph, described lifting the trophy in the cash-rich T20 tournament as “a special moment”.
“We did not have a great start to the tournament and at that period it was important to hold the team together which we did and go forward. We always had a positive approach. Everyone who went in wanted to make an impact,” said Sharma.
On his record-setting knock of 264, Sharma said that he had went in to bat with an open mind as he was coming back into the team after a lengthy injury lay-off. “When I came back our coach Duncan Fletcher told me that I had made my first 50 in something like 73 balls and had I made it in 50 balls, I could have scored a triple hundred,” said Sharma.
The award winners:
International Lifetime Achievement Award: Kapil Dev
International Cricketer of the Year: Kumar Sangakkara
Indian Cricketer of the Year: Ajinkya Rahane
International Batsman of the Year: Hashim Amla
International Bowler of the Year: Rangana Herath
T20 Player of the Year: Dwayne Bravo
Popular Choice Award: Kieron Pollard
Special Award: Rohit Sharma
Domestic Cricketer of the Year: R Vinay Kumar