Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli was presented with the Polly Umrigar Award for being the best international cricketer for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons at the annual BCCI awards in Bengaluru. The awards night also saw former England captain Kevin Pietersen deliver the MAK Pataudi Lecture. KP is the first foreign cricketer to deliver the annual lecture.
Kohli has been in a phenomenal form since the start of the 2016 season. He has been one of the busiest cricketers in the world playing 134 competitive matches and scoring 8,545 runs across formats, including the Indian Premier League.
In the 2016-17 season. Kohli amassed 1,332 runs in 13 Tests at a phenomenal average of 74, while he averaged 84.22 for his 1,516 runs in 27 ODIs during the period. In the six Tests played in the 2017-18 seasons, Kohli scored 896 runs at an average of 89.6, while ODI average stands at 75.50.
Kohli will walk away with a prize money of Rs 15,00,000 for each season in the men's category, while Harmanpreet Kaur and Smriti Mandhana, both of whom played a crucial role in India's impressive runners-up finish at the World last year, will become maiden recipients of the awards for best international cricketer (women) for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons respectively.
To honour one of its finest administrators, the BCCI rechristened four awards in remembrance of Late Jagmohan Dalmiya. Dalmiya Trophy was presented to the leading run-scorer and wicket-taker respectively in the U-16 Vijay Merchant Trophy and to the Best Junior and Senior Cricketer in women's cricket.
The BCCI has also raised prize money for nine categories by Rs 1,00,000 and the revised prize money is Rs 1,50,000. The Cricket Association of Bengal has been adjudged the best State Association owing to their consistent performances in the BCCI domestic tournaments for the 2016-17 season while the Delhi and District Cricket Association gets the prize for the 2017-18 season.