Virat Kohli won the ‘Cricketer of the Year’ honours at the Ceat awards function on Monday, while R. Ashwin received the ‘Indian Player of the Year’ award from batting maestro V.V.S. Laxman.
Former India wicketkeeper and a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team, Syed Kirmani, was given the‘Lifetime Achievement’ award.
Laxman, asked to explain Ashwin’s achievement in the 2013-14 season, said: “I never thought Ashwin would go on to play Test cricket for India. The first time I faced him in a Duleep Trophy match, he looked a one-day sort of bowler. He has developed variations and used his mind to spin a web around batsmen.”
The India off-spinner has come a long way since then to bag 104 Test wickets in 19 appearances apart from 106 scalps in 79 ODIs. Ashwin, who has scored a Test century too, said he was a fan of Shane Warne.
“Spin is an art. It is all about deception and perception, and Warne showed these qualities in all their glory.”
Karnataka batting mainstay Robin Uthappa received the ‘Domestic Cricketer of the Year’ prize for his exploits in the State’s Ranji Trophy triumph and the form he carried over into other formats like the IPL.
The award winners: Cricketer of the Year: Virat Kohli (India); ODI Player of the Year: Shikhar Dhawan (India); T20 Player of the Year: Shakib Al Hasan (Bangladesh); Test Player of the Year: Mitchell Johnson (Australia); Popular Choice award: Glenn Maxwell (Australia);
Young Player award: Vijay Zol (Maharashtra); Domestic Cricketer of the Year: Robin Uthappa (India); Special award for Indian Player of the Year: R Ashwin (India); Lifetime Achievement award: Syed Kirmani (India).