India captain Virat Kohli
India captain Virat Kohli
File Photo

India captain Virat Kohli on Monday headlined the ICC top honours for the decade, winning the Sir Garfield Sobers award for the best male cricketer of the past 10 years.

Kohli was also picked for the ODI Cricketer of the Decade award.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) made the announcements via Twitter, bestowing the top honours on Kohli, who scored 66 out of his 70 international hundreds, in the "ICC Awards" period.

Issuing a statement, Kohli thanked the ICC for the recognition and all the people who voted for him at the 'ICC Awards of the Decade'.

He also shared a tweet that he put out ten years ago, taking cognizance of the "hopeful" journey through all these years and enouraged his followers to keep moving forward regardless of challenges and obstances, to see dreams fulfilled into reality.

The tweet, dated March 16, 2010, saw the then 22-year-old "hoping" that he would score "lots of runs" for his team.

Ten years down the line, it can be said that his dreams have not only been realised, but also that he set new records for the game of cricket, itself, for players to-be.

"Sharing this tweet I put out 10 years ago, which was a hopeful one, I've realised through this journey that if you believe in yourself and play sport for the right reasons, no dream is too big to achieve. Regardless of the challenges and obstacles, you will keep moving forward with this belief and see your dreams turn into reality. Thank you once again," wrote Kohli.

It might have seemed unimaginable back then in 2010, but the decade saw Kohli not only scoring "lots of runs", but also becoming the highest International run-scorer of the decade, as well as the highest run-scorer among all batsmen in any previous decade.

He is also the only cricketer to score 20,000 runs in any single decade, besting Aussie cricketer Rickie Ponting, who had earlier held the record by scoring 18,962 runs in the 2000s.

In the same period, he was also the batsman with most fifties (94), most runs (20396) besides having the maximum average (56.97) among players with 70 plus innings.

Overall, the 32-year-old has amassed 12040 runs in ODIs, 7318 runs in Tests and 2928 runs in T20 Internationals, averaging more than 50 across formats. Kohli was also part of the World Cup-winning India squad in 2011, something he will cherish for life.

"Firstly, it's a great honour for me to receive this award. The moments I hold closest to my heart in the last decade definitely has to be the World Cup win in 2011, the Champions Trophy win in 2013 and winning the series in Australia in 2018," said Kohli in a statement.

On being also named the ODI Cricketer of the Decade, Kohli added: "ODI cricket is something that I took to very early. I came to the ODI team first and then, I made my Test debut a couple of years later.

"So, I got the understanding of my game pretty soon, pretty early. And as I mentioned before, my only intention and mindset was to make winning contributions for the team and I just tried to do every game that I play," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Free Press Journal