The top honors at the BCCI Awards Night 2017, held in Bengaluru, went to Indian captain Virat Kohli and spin ace Ravichandran Ashwin.
Captain Kohli bagged the Polly Umrigar award for best international player of 2015/16, becoming the first player to get the award three times.
R Ashwin won the CK Nayudu award for his performance in the West Indies in 2016. He picked up 17 wickets in four Tests, including a haul of 7/83 in North Sound.
On receiving the award, Kohli said, “It’s been quite unbelievable the last 10 to 12 months. I am not bothered who thinks what. This is the attitude in dressing room. We learn to win together and lose together. I wanted to be the best in all formats. I saw it as an opportunity and I decided to follow a path and the whole team believed it.”
Former India wicket-keeper Farookh Engineer, who delivered the MAK Pataudi lecture, had nothing but only praise for the legendary captain.
Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland was also present on the occasion.
Engineer urged everyone to know and respect the contributions made by Pataudi to Indian cricket, saying that the Tiger was “still a world-class player despite losing one eye”.
The BCCI awards night was held a day after India’s series-leveling win over Australia in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series.