While India skipper could not retain his top awards at the ICC awards, he walked away with the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. Last year, Virat Kohli had become the first player in history to win the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy for ICC Cricketer of the Year, the ICC Men’s Test Player of the Year and the ICC ODI Player of the Year awards following an extraordinary 2018. He had also won the Sir Garfield Trophy and ICC ODI Player of the Year awards for the 2017 calendar year.
But the world number one ODI and Test batsman had an average 2019 by his standards as Rohit Sharma and Ben Stokes won the ICC ODI Cricketer of the Year and Sir Garfield Sobers Awards respectively. But Virat Kohli still managed to lay his hands on one trophy thanks to his beautiful gesture for Australia star Steve Smith during last year’s World Cup.
When India and Australia took on each other in the tournament, Virat Kohli had asked the Indian fans not to boo Steve Smith but clap for him. Smith had just made a return to his national team after serving a year-long ban, which was handed out to him for his involvement in the ball-tampering scandal in 2018. And thus during the game, he faced ‘cheater, cheater’ chants from the Indians fans. However, Kohli signalled the crowd to applaud Smith and not jeer at him.
“Yeah, it was a lovely gesture. It doesn’t really bother me what the crowd do to be perfectly honest, I’m just sort of blocking it all out but it was a lovely gesture from Virat, that’s for sure,” Smith had said after the game.
Who remembers this gesture from Virat Kohli during #CWC19?
— ICC (@ICC) January 15, 2020